Lionel Messi, who led Argentina to the title at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, was named FIFA player of the year on Monday. France’s Kylian Mbappe came second and Karim Benzema, the forward who led Real Madrid to the Champions League title, came third.
The awards were decided by votes from a panel of national team captains, coaches, selected media and supporters. Voting was done online from the list of candidates decided by the expert committees appointed by FIFA.
Pepe was the representative of Portugal. Therefore, neither Cristiano nor Ronaldo voted. On the other hand, Pepe chose Kylian Mbappe as his first choice. Pepe’s vote was followed by Luka Modric and Karim Benzema.
After winning the award for the second time, Messi said that winning the World Cup was like a dream come true. “I fought hard to make that dream come true. I was mad about that this year. “In the end, I got it and it was the most beautiful thing in my career,” said Messi. It is every footballer’s dream, but very few come true, added Messi.
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Real Madrid defender David Alaba, who voted for Messi instead of Benzema, was also controversial on social media.
Austrian national team captain Alaba had his first vote for Messi, his Madrid team-mate Benzema second and Mbappe third.
Madrid fans were outraged when Alaba voted for Messi, who spent 17 seasons at Real Madrid’s arch-rivals Barcelona. But Alaba’s explanation was as follows; “It’s not just me who votes for this award, but as a team, everyone in the team council gets to vote and that’s how it was decided. Everyone knows, especially Kareem, how much I admire him and his performances. I have often said that he is the best striker in the world for me and that is still true. No doubt,” he added.
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