Austria Captain David Alaba explains why he voted Lionel Messi in front Karim Benzema The best Fifa Rewards after receiving racial abuse.
Alaba was targeted with messages and emojis sent to his social media accounts after he voted for Argentina’s World Cup-winning captain Messi instead of Real Madrid teammate Benzema in the voting for the male player of the year award.
Messi was confirmed as the winner of the award at a ceremony in Paris on Monday, ahead of French forwards Kylian Mbappe and Benzema.
Austrian captain Alaba stated that he voted on behalf of his national team, not just personally, and that the majority’s preference was Messi.
The 30-year-old tweeted: “Regarding the FIFA Best Award: The Austrian national team is voting for this award as a team, not me alone.
“Anyone on the team council can vote and that’s how the decision is made. Everyone, especially Karim, knows how much I admire him and his performances, and I’ve often said that for me he was and still is the best striker in the world. No doubt.”
Meanwhile, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has accused FIFA, the world’s governing body, of disrespecting his national team.
After qualifying for the finals in 2018, Dalic felt that his team and players deserved greater recognition than what they saw in the award shortlists, as he led Croatia to the semi-finals of the World Cup last year.
Dalic did not vote in protest as a result.
In a statement released by the Croatian Football Federation, he said: “I am disappointed by FIFA’s attitude towards the Croatian national team because I strongly argue that we deserve more respect from the chief management, based on all that we have achieved as a national team.” We included it in world football.
“If English, Brazilian, Spanish, German or Italian players and coaches had the kind of results we got, they would be shortlisted for every possible football award.
“I want to have more respect for us, our national team, our players and myself because we deserved it more than two medals.
“FIFA should support the fact that a small country like Croatia can play against the world’s greatest nations because that’s the best message for the whole football world.”