London - Virgil van Dijk said that seeing four Liverpool players finish in the
top 10 in the ranking for this year's Ballon d'Or can be an extra
source of motivation for the Anfield club in their quest for more
on-field success this season.
"Obviously the season we had was outstanding. We had even more
players than that on the total shortlist so everyone can be proud of the
achievement," said Van Dijk after coming second behind Lionel Messi at
the awards ceremony in Paris on Monday.
Sadio Mane finished fourth, Mohamed Salah was fifth, and goalkeeper
Alisson Becker came seventh in the voting by journalists from around the
world for the prize organised by France Football magazine.
Roberto Firmino, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Georginio Wijanldum had
also been nominated after starring as Jurgen Klopp's side won the
Champions League last season.
In addition, Alisson won the new Yashin Trophy awarded to the best goalkeeper of the year.
"I think we could have even have had a couple more players in it, but
we had a fantastic season last year and it should help motivate us to
keep doing what we are doing, working even harder and try to achieve
even more than we did last year," added Van Dijk.
Liverpool are eight points clear at the top of the Premier League,
raising expectations that they will finally go on to win a first league
title in three decades.
Netherlands defender Van Dijk, 28, has been an inspired signing by
Liverpool, and his second place in the Ballon d'Or voting comes after he
also finished second to Messi in the voting for FIFA's The Best prize
He had been hoping to become the first defender to win the Ballon d'Or since Fabio Cannavaro in 2006.
"To be absolutely honest I never thought I would be up for a Ballon
d'Or until I was actually nominated," said the former Celtic and
"It says a lot about how my career has been. It has never been easy. My career is just different than the winner here.
"I came late but I never gave up on my dreams. I had to work very
hard every step of the way. Where I am right now is just something I am
very proud of."