"I am very proud to be in that bracket, to be in there for the way I performed with the team previous year and also with the country", Van Dijk said.
It appears odd to believe Messi stands a chance of finishing a four-year Ballon d'Or drought, and having neglected to finish one of the top three at 2018 and placing second in consecutive decades before that.
Speaking about the award, Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard admitted that, although he is a fan of Messi, he thinks Van Dijk deserves it more.
The Liverpool and Holland defender placed second in the Ballon d'Or stakes, as Messi picked up the prestigious honour for a record sixth time.
A year ago it was notably Lionel Messi who was excluded from the top 3, while this time, the results might be reversed, as a purported award summary leaked online places the Argentinian ace in the top spot.
Van Dijk was one of only five protectors among the 30 Ballon d'Or chosen people reported in October.
The Argentina ace beat competition from UEFA Champions League victor Virgil van Dijk and UEFA Nations League victor Cristiano Ronaldo to bag his sixth award. "There are no losers on that evening", Van Dijk said.
Federation Internationale de Football Association merged their player of the year award with the Ballon d'Or in 2010, and Messi was the first to win the title as he picked up a second consecutive gong.
Messi is the current betting favourite and, according to the image, he will best Van Dijk with 446 points to the Dutchman's 382.
As Messi revels in what many see as confirmation of his GOAT status, we look back at how he achieved his remarkable Ballon d'Or haul.
"If it's for the best player, the best player at all, and of all, then it's Lionel, (but if it is for) best player of last season, (then it's) Virgil".
"So yes, he's incredibly important but if Virgil played the last line alone it would be pretty hard. That's Virgil. We will see", Klopp said. There have been a number of brilliant performance over the past year, and it is time to recognise these stupendous athletes for their remarkable work.