Cristiano Ronaldo has hinted that he sees himself as a better player than Lionel Messi thanks to his history of winning trophies at a number of different clubs - including Champions League titles with Manchester United and Real Madrid.
The victor in 2011 and 2015, Messi was also the top scorer in the Champions League last season.
Van Dijk is up for the award following a fine time of late with Liverpool, playing an influential role as they won the Champions League before going on to win the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea on Wednesday evening. The Italian side lost in the quarterfinals to Ajax Amsterdam.
UEFA have this Thursday announced the nominees for their Player of the Year award, The awards will be handed out at the Champions League Group Stage draw on the 29th August.
The shortlist of three players was selected by a jury comprising the 80 managers of clubs that participated in the group stages of the 2018-19 Champions League and Europa League, along with 55 journalists, one from each of UEFA's member associations.
For the women's award, treble winners Olympique Lyonnais made it a clean sweep with striker Ada Hegerberg, right back Lucy Bronze and midfielder Amandine Henry shortlisted. All three play for European champions Lyon.
Hegerberg was the first recipient of the women's Ballon d'Or past year.