David Alaba has never been an orator and has always avoided attracting attention with polarizing statements.
Intelligent on the one hand, at least the Austrian knows the mechanics of the circus called professional football. Every word is placed on the metaphorical golden scales, used against you when in doubt.
“Everyone I know says yes and amen to everything,” complained the straight-talking, self-proclaimed speaker Hinteregger in an interview with “profil” magazine. He cited Alaba as a prime example. “He’s the perfect professional, he’s very intelligent. But I always wonder why journalists want to interview him – you might as well interview the Swiss pine (Zirbelkiefer, editor’s note) back there.”
Alaba x Hinteregger: “I act as a role model”
The comparison to a tree was new, but Hinteregger’s criticism of Alaba was not. “David Alaba has been saying the same things after the game for ten years. It’s okay, but that’s not his opinion,” he explained a few months earlier on the TV show “RIESENrad-Sportgreaten im Waggon 28”. Hinteregger himself handled things differently and regularly took a confrontational path.
Thus, he pays “a little more attention” to his sentences in public. A relatively sharp counterattack.
In the end, Alaba skillfully tempered the poison arrows – just like Alaba – and let the fire oil roll out like a high-quality Teflon pan. In addition to football skills, another quality that may have helped the 31-year-old recently. Because: Alaba has recently been faced with criticism from a sporting point of view.
Alaba criticized after Derby
This was particularly fruitful following Real Madrid’s 3-1 defeat to city rivals Atlético at the end of September. The Spanish press, traditionally not squeamish, took aim at Alaba. “That was probably his worst game for Real Madrid,” said the AS: “He made a catastrophic mistake with the first goal. That was inexplicable – and with the second goal there was déjà vu. A fateful night for him.”
The sports newspaper “Marca” came to a similar conclusion: “He was bad at every goal and constantly lost sight of his opponents.” “Mundo Deportlivo” saw a “terrible game” from Alaba. The centre-back practically crawled towards the cross immediately after the bitter defeat.
“Madridistas, we all expected much more. That wasn’t our game, that wasn’t my game”, he wrote in “X”. He added: “We let you down, but we will react and show what Real Madrid are.”
Alaba was right. Since that fateful derby night, the Royals have not lost a game and have gone undefeated ten times in a row (eight wins, two losses). However, Alaba only played five times, missed three games due to adductor problems and was also 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 undisputed in the Spanish capital under Carlo Ancelotti – although potential contender Éder Militão (cruciate ligament rupture) may have to take a break long-lasting. The impression was fueled by the online outlet “El Nacional”, which recently reported on Alaba’s possible departure.
Real Boss Supposedly Dissatisfied
Thus, Real president Florentino Pérez is unhappy with the defensive specialist’s fluctuating performance and the Spanish champions have reportedly released Alaba (contract until 2026) for 40 million euros. To put it in perspective: “El Nacional” is based in Barcelona, the Alaba rumor emerged just days before the game between FC Barcelona and Real. A little derby party.
Los Blancos maintained a 2-1 lead thanks to two goals from Jude Bellingham (68th, 90th + 2), but Alaba cut an unfortunate figure when Ilkay Güngogan conceded a goal (6th). Overall, Alaba may not have had a great season, but he had a solid season. The fact that those responsible – as highlighted by “El Nacional” – are so disappointed in the veteran seems questionable to say the least.
Austria’s most far-reaching media outlet, namely the “Kronen Zeitung”, apparently did not want to refrain from commenting on Catalonia’s critical reports on Alaba’s export success and consulted an unnamed “Spanish insider”. “El Nacional is completely insignificant, nobody takes it seriously. Alaba is and continues to be an absolute leader at Real, who is immensely valued within the club and the team,” a source was quoted as saying.
Return to FC Bayern? Alaba stays Alaba
The DFB team’s recent negative results would not have changed that. A 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 the verbal master.
“I really feel very comfortable in Madrid, I have very clear goals that I, of course, want to pursue. That’s why I don’t think about anywhere else,” he said. A commitment to the current employer without ruling out future scenarios.
Mr. Teflon remains true to his line. Clever.