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Real fans post “Alaba out”

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David Alaba
Image: APA/Soriano
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It was no surprise that Lionel Messi was named World Player of the Year for the seventh time on Monday evening. After the 35-year-old’s first World Cup triumph with Argentina, he was the logical winner. The French Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema were left behind. The day after the award ceremony, Austria’s team captain David Alaba was suddenly confronted with severe criticism. Some Real Madrid fans posted hate messages on social media under “#alabaout” (“Alaba out”).

Real defender’s “offence”. He is said to have voted for Messi in the election and only ranked his club colleague Benzema in second place. Alaba defended himself via Instagram. “On the FIFA The Best Award: The Austrian national team votes for this award, not me alone. Everyone in the team council can vote and that’s how it is decided,” wrote the Viennese. And further: “Everyone knows, especially Karim himself, how much I admire him and his achievements and that I have often said that he is the best striker in the world and that is still the case. Without doubt.”

Lifesaver Honor

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The FIFA gala honoring the best footballers of the year on Monday evening also had a surprising connection to Austria. Ex-WAC pro Luka Lochoshvili, who now plays for Serie A club US Cremonese, received the Fair Play award. Lochoshvili probably saved the life of Austria player Georg Teigl on February 27, 2022 together with Christopher Wernitznig.

After a collision, Teigl fell unconscious to the ground. Lochoshvili recognized the seriousness of the situation immediately and saved Teigl from swallowing his tongue. According to his own account, Wernitznig had previously failed. Teigl suffered serious head injuries but is now healthy again.

Lochoshvili, who plays with ex-Rapidler Emanuel Aiwu in Cremona, was there via video link in Paris. “I would like to apologize that I cannot be there because we have a game tomorrow,” the 24-year-old Georgian began his speech. “It’s obviously a huge honor for me and I want to say thank you very much. I’m very happy about that, but I’m even more happy that we were able to save a player’s life. I’m really happy that he’s doing well. I wish everyone the best and above all health, which is the most important thing in life.”

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