Liverpool star, Virgil van Dijk has responded to criticism from Katia Aveiro, the sister of Cristiano Ronaldo.
On Tuesday Katia blasted Van Dijk after the professional Dutch centre-back jokingly questioned if Ronaldo was really a rival to him (Van Dijk) winning the 2019 Ballon D’ Or award during his interview.
When Van Dijk was being interviewed by Dutch television station RTL7 before the Ballon d’Or gala, the interviewer asked if Ronaldo’s absence meant that he had one less rival to contend with for the 2019 Ballon d’Or award and the Reds defender replied: ‘Was he a rival then?’
This did not go down well for Ronaldo’s sister Katia, who took to her Instagram page blasting Van Dijk in a lengthy post.
She wrote as part of the post: “You see, my dear Virgil, that Cristiano Ronaldo was a tri-champion in the country where you have been playing for years and you still haven’t got your hand on the trophy.”
But reacting to the development, Van Dijk wrote on his official Twitter page: “Firstly I’d like to congratulate Lionel Messi on winning your historic sixth Ballon d’Or.
“As I also said last night at the ceremony, it’s important to sit back and admire greatness when it’s in front of you. Congratulations on another incredible year.
“On a personal level it was an honour to be nominated and I’m extremely proud to have come second and in the same company as two of the greatest players to ever play the game in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“We’ve enjoyed some good battles this year and I hope there will be many more to come.
“I am proud of my journey and I hope that my route in the game can help inspire others to always believe in yourself and never give up on your dreams.
“I am hungry for more success on the pitch and will be working as hard as I can to keep improving and to continue to strive to be the best that I can be.
“It’s been an incredible 2019 so far but none of this would have been possible without the love and support of my family, thank you for always being there.
“I must also say a huge thank you again to all of my team-mates at Liverpool and the national team.
“Finally thank you to everyone in the football world for all of your messages of support, it means a lot to me and my family.”