Van Dijk deserved Ballon d'Or but Messi is also brilliant, says Klopp
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said Virgil Van Dijk deserved to win the Ballon d'Or, but that Lionel Messi is also the best player he has ever seen.
SHOWS: LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UK (DECEMBER 3, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP, SAYING: "Lionel Messi, I've thought maybe five hundred thousand times in my life already is, yeah, probably the best player I saw in my lifetime, that's how it is.
Very early in my life, Franz Beckenbauer, Diego Maradona, and then you see Lionel Messi more often and stuff like this and I have no clue how the others would have played nowadays, probably pretty exceptional.
But Lionel is here now and he rightly so won (Ballon d'Or) six times now.
Cristiano (Ronaldo) five times.
But the last season, if you only got for that season, then I cannot remember a more impressive season of a defender ever, honestly.
So, it would have been right if Virgil (Van Dijk) would have won it.
I heard it was pretty close." 2.
WHITE FLASH 3.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JUERGEN KLOPP, SAYING: "The last thing Marco (Silva) needs now is that I kind of feel sorry for him because I don't.
I'm really on his side because I know about the job, so that's it.
I saw, and that's for me the most important game to analyse was the last one against Leicester and it was really close, and they were good in a changed system, and they looked really well settled after maybe one week training with it, they looked really good." STORY: Liverpool manager praised Ballon d'Or winner Lionel Messi as the best player he has ever seen, but also argued Virgil Van Dijk would have deserved to win the award.
Messi won his sixth, record-breaking Ballon d'Or on Monday (December 2) following another exceptional year for Barcelona and Argentina, although Klopp said he believed it was a close run vote with Van Dijk, who helped lead Liverpool to a sixth Champions League victory last season.
Klopp said at a news conference on Tuesday (December 3) that he had not seen a more 'impressive season' from a defender, following Van Dijk's imperious displays in central defence over the last year.
Liverpool take on Everton in the Merseyside derby on Wednesday (December 4), which Klopp described as the 'standout game' of the season for both teams. Klopp's side won with a last gasp winner, a freakish goal that bounced twice off the top of the crossbar bar before Divock Origi headed in from close range, and led the German manager to sprint across the pitch in celebration.
But Klopp said Reds fans shouldn't expect similar scenes if Liverpool score another winner this season as he apologised to rival manager Marco Silva for his celebration and claimed it would not happen again.
(Production: Francis Maguire)