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David Alaba: “My left foot is a blessing”

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Alaba isn’t ready to take his gifted left boot for granted any time soon.

Hannover 96 v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga
HANOVER, GERMANY - DECEMBER 15: David Alaba of Bayern Muenchen gestures during the Bundesliga match between Hannover 96 and FC Bayern Muenchen at HDI-Arena on December 15, 2018 in Hanover, Germany.
Hannover 96 v FC Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga HANOVER, GERMANY - DECEMBER 15: David Alaba of Bayern Muenchen gestures during the Bundesliga match between Hannover 96 and FC Bayern Muenchen at HDI-Arena on December 15, 2018 in Hanover, Germany.
(Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)

It’s no secret that David Alaba is one of Bayern Munich’s most potent weapons when it comes to free kicks in the attacking third. The Austrian left-back has produced some absolutely sensational strikes with his left foot, both from dead ball situations and from open play.

During Bayern’s 4-0 win over Hannover 96, he scored an absolute gem of a goal when he perfectly struck a half volley into the upper right corner of Michael Esser’s goal. The wonder-strike came 27 minutes after Joshua Kimmich had put Bayern into the lead in just the second minute of play with a finely taken volley of his own.

Have a look at Alaba’s strike. We just can’t get enough of it:

In an interview with Bild, Alaba said he never takes his left foot for granted, and he revealed who his role model was for free kicks and amazing strikes when he was younger. From a young age, he’s always made a point of developing his technique with his left foot, particularly with long-distance shots and free kicks. He said he’s practiced extensively with Manuel Neuer at Säbener Strasse over the years:

First and foremost my left foot is a blessing! I’m very grateful for it. I began training, refining my left foot very early. I’m always trying to improve my technique. I train with walls, also long-distance shots. It’s worked out very, very well, I think.

There’ve been so many legends in the game when it comes to free kicks and sensational goals. David Beckham, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Andrea Pirlo, and Diego Maradona are some of the names at the top of the list of the world’s best free-kick takers, but it was ex-Lyon and Brazil midfielder Juninho whom Alaba tried to mimic:

I found techniques that suit me very well. The ex-Lyon star Juninho was my model. He scored goals from the halfway line.

The Bundesliga has already seen some sensational goals this season, and it’s only just about half way through, but Alaba’s strike against Hannover certainly has to be a contender for goal of this season. The Austrian is no stranger to having goal of the season nominations either, as his free kick from the end of the 2016/2017 season against RB Leipzig was one of the top contenders. Who else remembers that absolutely crazy game that Bayern wound up winning 5-4?

More of this against Leipzig this week would be lovely, David: