After Lionel Messi edged Virgil van Dijk and Cristiano Ronaldo to lift his sixth Ballon d’Or award, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp expressed his disappointment.
Klopp, who led The Reds to their sixth Champions League title last year where Van Dijk played a crucial role, insisted that “it would have been right if Virg won it.”
Out of the final 10 players in the Ballon d’Or list, four belonged to Liverpool – Van Dijk (2nd), Sadio Mane (4th), Mohamed Salah (5th) and Alisson Becker (7th).
While Klopp insisted Van Dijk deserved the award more, he made it clear that he or anyone in the Liverpool side hold no grudges and admitted that Messi is the best-ever player he has seen in the sport.
“Things like this are decisions made by journalists. I see it slightly different and a lot of people see it slightly different but that’s absolutely no problem.
Lionel Messi, I’ve said probably 500,000 times in my life already, is probably the best player I saw in my lifetime. Very early in my life, I saw Franz Beckenbauer and Diego Maradona but I’ve seen Lionel Messi more.”
“I don’t know how the others would have played nowadays – probably exceptional – but Lionel Messi is here now and he has won it six times and Cristiano [Ronaldo] five times but last season I cannot remember a more impressive season from a defender ever.
Honestly. So it would have been right if Virg won it,” Klopp added in an interview ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League match against Everton.
“I heard it was pretty close. As a group of players, we won the Champions League, played an outstanding season and got 97 points and people see that as well because we cannot do that without performing players so I am really happy for them. It is nice but it is last season, so I think pretty much now all the awards are done and the boys can go for new ones,” Klopp added.