Messi beat Van Dijk to the honour with 46 per cent of the scoring points, with the Liverpool centre-back winning 38 per cent of the votes and Ronaldo 36 per cent.
While Van Dijk picked Messi to win the award, Ronaldo thought former Ajax defender and his current team-mate Juventus Matthijs de Ligt deserved the prize, omitting Messi completely from his top three.
Probably the biggest shock of the top three’s votes was Messi’s No.1 choice, Sadio Mane.
The Liverpool forward enjoyed a superb 2018/19 season at Anfield, winning the Premier League’s Golden Boot and the Champions League.
Votes were counted from the world’s international captains and their managers, while a selected media member from each country also got a say.
Each individual would select three candidates, with their top choice receiving five points, their second three points and the third-placed player one point.
After Van Dijk missed out on the top prize, Liverpool had the most players in the top ten.
Mane and Mohamed Salah joined Van Dijk in the top five, while Tottenham star Harry Kane managed to claim tenth spot.
Eden Hazard came in at eighth after an excellent final campaign at Chelsea.
Van Dijk, Ronaldo and Messi will now go head to head for the Ballon d’Or in December, but some fans were left scratching their heads by FIFA’s Best Team.
Real Madrid trio Luka Modric, Sergio Ramos and Marcelo were all included in the starting eleven, despite enduring a dismal season in Spain and in Europe for their club side.
USA star Megan Rapinoe won the women’s top prize, beating her international team-mate Alex Morgan and England’s Lucy Bronze.
Rapinoe delivered a powerful speech calling for meaningful change in the sport. ‘Some of the stories that inspired me this year are Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly – their incredible performances on the field and their reaction to the disgusting racism they have to face, this year but probably for their whole lives,’
she said. ‘I feel like if we really want to have meaningful change, what I think is most inspiring would be if everybody other than Sterling and Koulibaly were as outraged about racism as they were. ‘If everybody was as outraged about homophobia as the LGBTQ players, if everybody was as outraged about equal pay or the lack thereof, or the lack of investment in the women’s game, other than just women, that would be the most inspiring thing to me.’