Paris, Dec. 3 -- : After missing out on the Ballon d'Or, defender Virgil van Dijk paid his respect to Argentine striker Lionel Messi and said one needs to respect his greatness as he has won the award for six times.

He also said that he is proud of what he achieved with his club Liverpool and country Netherlands.

Messi pipped van Dijk on Monday (local time) to win his sixth Ballon d'Or.

"It was amazing. Unfortunately, there are a couple of players like him that are a bit unnatural, I think. They are fantastic. Six-time Ballon d'Or winner, you need to respect greatness as well. I was close but there was just someone a little bit better," quoted van Dijk as saying.

"I am very proud of what I achieved last year with Liverpool, Hol...