David Alaba has never been a public speaker and has always avoided attracting attention with polarizing statements.
On the one hand, he is clever, at least the Austrian knows the mechanisms that prevail in the circus called professional football. Each word is put on a metaphorical golden scale that, if in doubt, can be used against you.
“Everyone I know says yes and amen to everything,” complained self-proclaimed straight-talker Hinteregger in an interview for Profile magazine. He cited Alaba as a perfect example. “He’s a consummate professional, he’s really smart. But I always ask myself why journalists want to interview him at all – you might as well interview the Swiss pine there (Zirbelkiefer, editor’s note).”
Alaba vs. Hinteregger: “I am a role model”
While the tree comparison was new, Hinteregger’s criticism of Alaba was not. “David Alaba has been saying the same thing after the match for ten years. It’s fine, but it’s not his opinion,” he explained a few months earlier in the TV program “RIESENrad-Sportgreaten im Waggon 28”. Hinteregger himself dealt with things differently and regularly took a confrontational course.
As a result, he pays “a little more attention” to judgments given in public places. Relatively sharp counterattack.
In the end, Alaba skillfully stopped the poisoned arrows – just like Alaba – and allowed the oil from the fire to flow like a high-quality Teflon frying pan. Apart from his football skills, this is another trait that could have helped the 31-year-old recently. Because: Alaba has recently faced criticism from a sporting point of view.
Alaba criticized after the Derby
This was particularly fruitful after Real Madrid’s 3-1 defeat to city rivals Atlético in late September. The Spanish press, traditionally insensitive, targeted Alaba. “It was probably his worst game in Madrid,” said the ace: “He made a disastrous mistake with the first goal. It was inexplicable and there was déjà vu with the second goal. Terrible evening for him.”
The sports newspaper Marca came to a similar conclusion: “He was bad at all goals and constantly lost sight of his opponents.” Mundo Deportlivo saw Alaba’s “terrible match”. Immediately after the bitter defeat, the central defender practically crawled to the cross.
“Madridistas, we all expected much more. It wasn’t our game, it wasn’t my game,” he wrote in “X”. He added: “We let you down, but we will fight and show what Real Madrid is.”
Alaba was right. Since that fateful derby night, the Royals have not lost a match and have remained undefeated ten times in a row (eight wins, two losses). However, Alaba only played five times, missed three games due to adductor muscle problems, and was on the bench for 90 minutes twice in a row in the Champions League.
It could therefore give the impression that Bayern’s long-time star is no longer completely unchallenged in the Spanish capital under Carlo Ancelotti – although a potential rival in Éder Militao (ruptured cruciate ligament) will have to take a longer break. The impression was fueled by the online media “El Nacional”, which recently reported on Alaba’s possible departure.
The real boss is allegedly dissatisfied
Therefore, Real president Florentino Pérez is dissatisfied with the specialist’s defensive fluctuations and the Spanish champions would allegedly release Alaba (contract until 2026) for EUR 40 million. For comparison: “El Nacional” is based in Barcelona, the rumor about Alaba appeared a few days before the match between FC Barcelona and Real. A small derby event.
The Blancos maintained a 2-1 advantage thanks to two goals from Jude Bellingham (68th, 90th + 2), but Alaba was unfortunate to concede a goal when Ilkay Güngogan conceded a goal (6th). Overall, Alaba may not have had a great season, but he did have a solid one. The fact that those responsible – as “El Nacional” emphasizes – should be so disappointed with the veteran seems at least questionable.
The most powerful Austrian media, Kronen Zeitung, apparently did not want to leave without comment critical reports from Catalonia about the export hit Alaba and consulted an anonymous “Spanish insider”. “El Nacional is completely irrelevant, no one takes it seriously. Alaba is and remains the absolute leader of Real, extremely valued in the club and the team,” said the source.
Back to Bayern? Alaba remains Alaba
The DFB’s recent negative results wouldn’t change that. Diplomatic assessment. Typical Alaba. When, as expected, he was asked about his return to FC Bayern, the three-time Champions League winner was once again a master of words.
“I really feel very good in Madrid, I have very clear goals that I obviously want to pursue. That’s why my thoughts are not elsewhere,” he said. A commitment to your current employer without excluding future scenarios.
Mr. Teflon remains true to its lineage. Clever.