Austria captain David Alaba has come under criticism on social media after voting for Lionel Messi as the men's player of the year over his own Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema. However, Alaba has defended himself, stating that the decision was made as a team, and not an individual one. Alaba's vote for Messi saw him win the Best FIFA Award on Monday, beating out competition from France's Kylian Mbappe and Benzema. The Austrian defender was criticized on social media with the hashtag #AlabaOut trending. Nonetheless, the 30-year-old insisted that his vote for Messi was not a reflection of his admiration for Benzema's abilities. Alaba explained that the Austrian national team votes as a team for the award, and the team council makes the final decision. The Real Madrid defender was subject to a whole load of abuse from fans on Twitter (Image: Creative Commons) He also noted that he had voted for Benzema as his second choice and Mbappe as his third. The Best FIFA Awards are decided by a panel of national team coaches and captains, journalists, and fans worldwide. The voting process is always a subject of debate, and this year is no exception. Alaba's decision to vote for Messi over Benzema has caused some controversy, but the defender has clarified that it was a team decision. Regardless of the outcome, these awards serve as a testament to the exceptional performances of the nominees and are an excellent opportunity to recognize their hard work and dedication to their sport. Was David Alaba wrong to pick Messi over his own teammate? Let us know!