Real Madrid defender David Alaba has explained on social media why he did not give his first-place vote for The Best FIFA Men’s Player award to his teammate Karim Benzema.
Benzema won the 2022 Ballon d’Or after leading Los Blancos to their record 14th Champions League crown last season, while also helping them regain La Liga from Atletico Madrid.
However, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe’s impressive World Cup campaigns made them the favorites to win The Best FIFA Men’s Player award, which was presented on Monday night, with Messi ultimately claiming the prize.
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National team captains are allowed to cast three votes for the awards, and Alaba, as the Austria skipper, selected Messi as his first pick, followed by Benzema in second place. Mbappe received his third and final vote.
After FIFA released the full voting details, Alaba was subjected to racist abuse from Real Madrid fans for not choosing Benzema as his top choice.
Alaba subsequently took to Twitter to clarify his decision, stating: ‘Regarding FIFA The Best Award: The Austrian national team votes for this award as a team, not just me. The team council votes, and that’s how the decision is made.
Everyone knows, particularly Karim, how much I admire him and his performances. I have often said that he is the best striker in the world, and that still holds true. There’s no doubt about it.“