How football reacted to Messi’s record-breaking Ballon d'Or triumph

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Van Dijk took centre stage on Saturday, with his double of headers against Brighton helping Liverpool maintain their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League.

An apparently leaked document placed Messi first in the vote for the best player in the world, ahead of Van Dijk second and his Liverpool team-mate Mohamed Salah in third. I was close but there was just someone a little bit better. And reports suggest they have done just that.

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Virgil van Dijk - Who's your favourite to lift Ballon d'Or 2019 trophy?

Time will only tell whether those "results" are in fact legitimate.

Nevertheless, it caps off an exceptional year for the Dutchman, who is now widely considered the best central defender in world football and he's currently playing a key role in Liverpool's quest to end a 30-year championship drought.

Virgil Van Dijk already feels like a victor after being nominated for this year's Ballon d'Or.

"I never thought I would be up for a Ballon d'Or until I was actually nominated". Apart from that, the Brazilian displayed some good distribution but that red card ruined things for him.

For Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, the answer is simple.

Rapinoe was not present at the ceremony in Paris to collect football's most prestigious individual accolad. That is Lionel. Best player of last season?

The 32-year-old is now the outright Ballon d'Or record holder having claimed one more than Ronaldo, who has won the trophy on five occasions. That's how it is.

"So yes, he's incredibly important but if Virgil played the last line alone it would be pretty hard. I don't know exactly how it will work but that's how I see it".

A constant performer for Liverpool and Netherlands, Virgil Van Dijk looks set to give Lionel Messi a run for his money when it comes to lifting the Ballon d'Or title. "I can't believe I'm the one winning in this field, it's been an incredible year", Rapinoe said in a recorded message.

"I'm proud of what I achieved previous year with Liverpool". I am going to be there for a reason and there are no losers on the evening. "We will see what happens".

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