Virgil van Dijk: 'I made a joke and only got respect for Ronaldo'

Virgil van Dijk: 'I made a joke and only got respect for Ronaldo'

- Virgil van Dijk clarifies comments he made about Cristiano Ronaldo for missing Ballon D'Or

- The Netherlands international joked about the Portuguese not being in contention for the award

- Van Dijk came second behind Lionel Messi despite winning Champions League with Liverpool

Virgil van Dijk's comment about Cristiano Ronaldo during the Ballon D'Or award was not taken likely by fans on social media.

The Liverpool defender came second behind eventual winner Lionel Messi and a step ahead of Ronaldo.

Just before the ceremony started, the Dutchman joked about the Juventus striker not being in contention for the accolade after failing to show up for the event.

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"Cristiano won’t be here, so that’s already one rival less," said the interviewer.

But Van Dijk replied with a smile: "Was he a rival then?"

But the Netherlands international took to social media to clarify his comment after questioning if Ronaldo was even a rival during the Ballon D'Or ceremony.

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His comment was picked up by English journalist Piers Morgan, who blasted the defender saying, "No.. @Cristiano is a far greater player, you're not in his league."

But Van Dijk replied Morgan's comment saying he made a joke and nothing else.

"Hi Piers, If you don't jump on the social media bandwagon and would listen to the whole interview then you would know I made a joke, and only got respect for those 2," Van Dijk tweeted.

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Meanwhile, had earlier reported that Cristiano Ronaldo scooped the Serie A Player of the Year award same night Lionel Messi won the prestigious Ballon D'Or.

The Juventus striker was absent at the Ballon D'Or ceremony which was held in Paris because he needed to attend another event in Milan.

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