Messi claimed the prize, rebranded in 2016, for the first time, beating van Dijk and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.
“The people who vote made a decision and you have to accept it. That is just the case and as players, you can’t compare me and Messi because it’s totally different. I am very proud to be here,” van Dijk was quoted as saying by goal.com.
The Liverpool defender, named in the FIFA World XI, also said there was no disappointment when it came to Messi’s victory.
“Disappointed? You can’t be disappointed,” he said.
“I’m just very happy to be here, to be in the team of the year, after the hard work and the good work we put in last year.
“Today, I, unfortunately, didn’t win but I’m not disappointed,” he added.
The award was Messi’s first major individual honour since 2015 when he claimed his fifth Ballon d’Or.
“It has been a long time without winning an individual prize,” Messi said.
“It is an award that I have for the first time and it is good to have it,” he added.
Disclaimer This article is published directly through a syndicated feed and not edited by The Indian Wire staff.