Search icon


28th Feb 2023

David Alaba responds after being racially abused for voting Lionel Messi ahead of Karim Benzema

Callum Boyle

Alaba voted for Messi at the FIFA The Best awards

David Alaba has been forced to clarify that Austria’s decision to vote for Lionel Messi ahead of Karim Benzema as Best FIFA Men’s Player was a “team decision” and not an individual one.

Messi beat Benzema to the award – winning it for the second time in his career – two months after winning his first-ever World Cup with Argentina.

The award is voted for by coaches, captains and journalists from every nation and following Monday’s ceremony, FIFA released a full breakdown of who voted for who.

In a surprise twist of fate Alaba, who plays his club football with Real Madrid, voted for Messi ahead of his teammate Benzema.

Given Messi’s association to Madrid’s arch rivals Barcelona, fans of Los Blancos were not happy however they voiced their disapproval in a disgusting manner.

Several fans targeted the defender with vile, racist messages and called upon him to leave the club.

David Alaba

Alaba was forced to come out on social media and explain that he didn’t vote for the award individually on Twitter.

He wrote: “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.”

Benzema was forced to settle for third place, behind Kylian Mbappé and Messi. The forward enjoyed a stellar 2022 with Carlo Ancelotti’s side, winning the Champions League and LaLiga titles respectively.

Moments after Messi collected his prize, Benzema appeared to post a cryptic message on his Instagram story, insinuating that he wasn’t happy with the outcome of the result.

Related links: