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Alaba issues statement after facing abuse for voting for Messi over Benzema in FIFA awards



Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

The recently concluded FIFA The Best awards did not go down well at Real Madrid. Having overcome several hurdles on their way to a special UEFA Champions League title, whilst delivering some of the best comebacks ever seen in football, many felt that the Merengues deserved more representations and first-place finishes.

However, their achievements were overshadowed by the FIFA World Cup and Lionel Messi’s completion of football as Argentina dominated the ceremony on all fronts.

David Alaba was one of the few Real Madrid players given the chance to vote for the prize, and it was revealed that the Austrian captain picked Lionel Messi over his teammate Karim Benzema.

The revelation did not go down well with fans, who resorted to hurling abuse at the defender. Following the events, Alaba has been forced to explain his action on his social media account.

“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,” Alaba’s statement read.

Everyone knows, especially Karim, how much I admire him and his performances and I have often said that for me he is the best striker in the world, and that is still the case. Without doubt.”

The Real Madrid player’s explanation seems to have calmed the storm that was unnecessarily blown out of proportion from the very start.

Messi won the best player award by an overwhelming majority while Lionel Scaloni beat Carlo Ancelotti to the best manager accolade. Real Madrid did not even win on the goalkeeper front, with Thibaut Courtois finishing behind Emiliano Martinez.

Around the time of the awards, Benzema posted a cryptic post on his social media that signalled favouritism. It remains to be seen if FIFA’s decision to deny him the award pushes him to greater success this season.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool monitoring 19-year-old Bundesliga wonderkid – Romano



Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

According to Fabrizio Romano, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all monitoring Bayer Leverkusen and Germany wonderkid Florian Wirtz.

After recovering from his ACL injury, the teenage sensation has been slowly working his way back to his best form. So far this term, Wirtz has managed to rack up a tally of two goals and six assists from 13 matches in all competitions.

The 19-year-old’s talent and potential have never been in question and hence it does not come as a surprise that elite clubs such as Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Liverpool are all keeping tabs on the German international.

A versatile attacking midfielder, Wirtz is capable of playing anywhere in the final third of the pitch and backs up with top-notch end product. Be it as a false-nine or in a more withdrawn role, the youngster has excelled for Bayer Leverkusen, catching the attention of top teams.

Real Madrid, for their part, are also understood to be among Wirtz’s admirers. Given the situation surrounding Karim Benzema’s fitness and the lack of backup at the top, the youngster could be an option, as he has shown potential while operating through the middle.

But Barcelona also have a strong interest in the teenager with reports even suggesting that they have already made contact with his father to enquire about his situation.

At the same time, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is understood to be a huge admirer of his fellow German and with Roberto Firmino on his way out, Wirtz could be lined up as a possible replacement.

However, Romano adds that the expectation is that Wirtz could stay at Bayer Leverkusen for one more year and depart Germany once the UEFA Euro 2024 is out of the way.

For now, there have been talks or negotiations with any clubs, but Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool are all tracking Wirtz and his progress in Germany.

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