Alaba suffers abuse after Messi's vote at The Best FIFA Awards

Football Alaba suffers abuse after Messi's vote at The Best FIFA Awards

Kiplagat Sang • 12:34 - 28.02.2023

The defender overlooked current Ballon d’Or holder Benzema and voted for Lionel Messi.

Real Madrid defender David Alaba has suffered online abuse from his own fans after snubbing Karim Benzema at The Best FIFA Football Awards that was held in Paris on Monday.

The Austrian captain voted for Argentina and PSG superstar Lionel Messi ahead of his club teammate, Benzema. His choice – which is seen as contrary to others who always prioritize their club teammates – saw the hashtag #AlabaOut start to trend on Twitter.

Alaba voted for Messi for the men's player of the year before he voted for Benzema and Kylian Mbappe in the second and third spots, respectively.

Messi – for the second time in his career - was voted the best player in the world by his peers. His success was propelled by his recent achievements at the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals in Qatar.

The former Barcelona forward beat Mbappe – his PSG teammate – to the coveted award after he garnered 52 points while the Frenchman managed to get 44.

Benzema, who had a sensational outing in 2022, where he spearheaded Real Madrid’s La Liga and Champions League success and eventually won the Ballon d’Or – emerged third with 34 points.

A breakdown of how each captain voted has now emerged, and Alaba has defended his choice after suffering attacks on social media.

"Regarding FIFA The Best Award: The Austrian national team vote for this award as a team, not me alone. Everyone in the team council is able to vote and that's how it's decided. Everyone knows, especially Karim, how much I admire him and his performances.

And I have often said that for me he is the best striker in the world, and that is still the case. Without a doubt," said the former Bayern Munich defender.

The Austrian, who joined Real Madrid from Bayern Munich as a free agent in 2021, has been at the Santiago Bernabeu for the last 18 months, working with Benzema.