Real Madrid fans did not take kindly to discovering that David Alaba voted for Barcelona legend Lionel Messi ahead of Karim Benzema.
David Alaba has offered an explanation for his vote at the FIFA Best awards after he listed Lionel Messi ahead of his Real Madrid team-mate Karim Benzema.
Alaba was subjected to online abuse, including racist remarks, after his choice was made public with Madrid fans starting the hashtag #AlabaOut after voting for Messi first, Benzema second and Kylian Mbappe third.
The Austria captain explained on Twitter that the vote was not just his, but his entire national team’s.
“Regarding FIFA The Best Award: The Austrian national team voted for this award as a team, not me alone,” he wrote. “Everyone can vote in the team council and that’s how decisions are made.
“Everyone knows, especially Karim, how much I admire him and his performances and I’ve often said he’s the best striker in the world for me and he still is. Without a doubt.”
Messi collected the men’s award at an awards ceremony in Paris on Monday after leading Argentina to glory at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.