David Alaba defends decision to vote for Messi ahead of Benzema

David Alaba defends decision to vote for Messi ahead of Benzema

Ifeanyi Ufomadu 12:36 - 28.02.2023

Real Madrid defender David Alaba has defended his decision to vote for Lionel Messi ahead of team-mate Karim Benzema as men’s player of the year at The Best Fifa Awards.

Messi was crowned the world's best men's footballer at FIFA's annual award ceremony on Monday night.

The PSG striker pipped club team-mate Kylian Mbappe and Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema, who finished third in the voting, to claim his second The Best title and first since 2019.

Alaba votes Messi ahead of teammate Benzema

After the breakdown of voters was released, fans quickly spotted that Austria captain David Alaba voted for Messi as his first choice ahead of his Real Madrid teammate Benzema.

Alaba's decision did not go down well with the Real Madrid supporters and he has since been hit with a barrage of racist abuse and calls for him to leave the club.

In response, Alaba took to Twitter to explain that the decision to vote for Messi was a collective one.

''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.''

Despite inspiring Real Madrid's stunning run to Champions League glory last season, Karim Benzema had to settle for third place behind Kylian Mbappe and World Cup winner Lionel Messi.

Related content