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Ballon D'Or

Piers Morgan shut down by Van Dijk after celebrity's knee-jerk reaction to Ronaldo's Ballon d'Or no-show joke

11:28 AM SGT 3/12/19
Virgil van Dijk Piers Morgan split
The Liverpool defender responded to the English broadcaster's claim that he isn't in the same league as the Juventus star

Virgil van Dijk took to Twitter to shut down Piers Morgan after the English broadcaster claimed that the Liverpool defender isn't in the same league as Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo.

Van Dijk finished second in the Ballon d'Or voting, with Lionel Messi winning his record-breaking sixth award on Monday afternoon.

The Liverpool centre-back did finish in front of Ronaldo, who came third in the vote behind La Liga champion Messi and Champions League winner Van Dijk.

Van Dijk poked fun at Ronaldo in Paris on Monday, stating that he didn't realise the Juventus man was in the running to win because he was not at the awards ceremony.

It was the first time since 2011 that Ronaldo had failed to feature in the Ballon d'Or top two, and Morgan was not thrilled with Van Dijk's joke as he took to Twitter to respond to the Liverpool defender.

"No. Cristiano is a far greater player," Morgan tweeted, "you're not in his league."

Van Dijk responded shortly after, referring to the rest of the quote which saw him state that Messi and Ronaldo are "unnatural".

"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 said.

In his interview, the Netherlands star said: "It was an amazing year, but there's a couple of players like that who are a bit unnatural. So you need to respect greatness as well.

"I was close, but there was just someone a little bit better.

"I'm very proud of what I achieved last year with Liverpool and Holland, and hopefully we can do that again this year. But that will be tough with those guys around here still."

Van Dijk's Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane finished fourth and fellow Red Mohamed Salah was fifth in the voting. 

Georgino Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alisson also cracked the final list of 30, with the goalkeeper finishing inside the top 10.

The top 10 consisted of PSG's Kylian Mbappe (sixth), Alisson (seventh), Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski (eighth) and the Manchester City duo of Bernardo Silva (ninth) and Riyad Mahrez (tenth).

Messi or Ronaldo has won the trophy in 11 of the past 12 years, with Luka Modric's triumph in 2018 the loan break between the two legendary figures.