Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk could not resist trolling Cristiano Ronaldo after he snubbed the Ballon d'Or awards ceremony in Paris on Monday evening.
Ronaldo, 34, has made a habit of not attending awards ceremonies in which he is not honoured as the winner on the evening.
With the FIFA Best awards and the 2018 Ballon d'Or the more recent occasions and van Dijk took the opportunity to seemingly have a light dig at the five-time winner of the Golden Ball.
With Lionel Messi lifting a record sixth title, ahead of the Dutchman and the Juventus superstar, who were placed in second and third respectively, the Netherlands captain opened up about latter's absence with RTL7.
"Cristiano won’t be here, so that’s already one rival less," the interviewer asked as he entered the venue.
To which van Dijk responded with a smirk: "Was he a rival then?"
His comments didn't go down well on social media with his subtle joke being taken as disrespect, in which he quickly cleared his name.
"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 two [Messi and Ronaldo]," he wrote on Twitter in response to the criticism.