Liverpool FC star defender Virgil van Dijk has opened up on the possibility of FC Barcelona skipper Lionel Messi winning the Ballon d'Or 2019. The award ceremony is set to take place Monday night in Paris. 

While multiple news reports have claimed Messi is set to lift his sixth prestigious award, Van Dijk said there won’t be any losers.

Speaking in a post-match interview after Liverpool's 2-1 win over Brighton on Saturday, Van Dijk said, "There are no losers on that evening. I am very proud to be in that bracket, be in there for the way I performed with the team last year and also with the country."

When asked if he thinks he could beat Messi, the Dutchman said, "It is just something to be proud of because not a lot of players go there and are up for these kinds of things. There are no losers that evening – we’ll see what happens."

Just ahead of the Ballon d'Or 2019 ceremony, an image leaked on Twitter that showed the supposed rankings. According to the image, revealed by an anonymous source Tuesday, Messi was the winner ahead of Van Dijk.

Out of the top six players on the list, four were from Liverpool. Van Dijk is expected to finish ahead of Mohamed Salah, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane and Alison Becker. 

Earlier, when Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was asked about the Messi-Van Dijk situation, the German had backed his defender. 

"If you give the Ballon d’Or to the best player of his generation, you give it always to Lionel Messi, that’s how it is. If you give it to the best player of last season then it was Virgil van Dijk. I don’t know exactly how it will work but that’s how I see it."

Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (L) is presented with the men's player of year award by FIFA President Gianni Infantino. Argentina and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (L) is presented with the men's player of year award by FIFA President Gianni Infantino. Photo: AFP / Marco Bertorello

"If it’s for the best player, the best player at all, and of all, then it’s Lionel, (but if it is for) best player of last season, (then it’s) Virgil. We will see," Klopp added.

Last year, Croatia’s Luka Modric clinched his first-ever Ballon d'Or for leading his team to their maiden FIFA World Cup final and winning the UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid. Modric's win had ended a decade in which Messi and Ronaldo had won the Ballon d'Or five times each. 

A total of 30 candidates are nominated for the award, organized by France Football and voted for by 180 journalists from around the world.

Here are the top candidates shortlisted for Ballon d'Or 2019:

Liverpool - Virgil Van Dijk, Roberto Firmino, Alisson Becker, Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent  Alexander-Arnold, Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah

Manchester City -  Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Bernardo Silva, Sergo Aguero and Raheem Sterling

Barcelona - Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Andre ter Stegen and Frankie De Jong

Real Madrid - Karin Benzema and Eden Hazard

Tottenham - Son Heung-min and Hugo Lloris

Ajax - Donny van de Beek and Dusan Tadic

Juventus - Cristiano Ronaldo and Matthijs De Ligt

PSG - Kylian Mbappe and Marquinhos

Atletico Madrid - Joao Felix

Napoli - Kalidou Koulibaly

Bayern Munich - Robert Lewandowski

Arsenal - Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang