The like of the scoreline at the end of Germany’s friendly match against neighboring Austria had not been seen for thirty years: a 2-1 victory for Österreich. Two of Bayern Munich’s players expressed their reactions to the game as befitted their respective performances: Sebastian Rudy and David Alaba.
For Rudy, who came on at halftime for Sami Khedira while Germany still led 1-0, the subsequent course of the game was the last thing the versatile defensive midfielder had intended. Rudy told Abendzeitung after the game that everyone on the team was disappointed:
Everyone is trying to reach his maximum. You can’t do more than that. Then you have to see how it looks.
But Rudy was unable to prevent Austria from tying the game and scoring the go-ahead goal—by Alessandro Schöpf, a product of Bayern’s youth academy. In Rudy's estimation,
We did not create very many scoring chances. We let ourselves come under pressure in the second half, didn't play cleanly anymore; then we invited them [to attack].
But despite the embarrassing defeat to Austria, Rudy is confident that Germany will be “one hundred percent awake” at the World Cup itself.
Alaba: Neuer is still the best
Alaba, who played for Austria in the midfield, was one of the best players on the pitch on Saturday. He had nothing but praise for the opposing goalkeeper, his club teammate and friend, Manuel Neuer:
I think that he definitely is the [Manuel Neuer] that we know. He couldn’t do anything about the goals conceded. He made a very good and positive impression. We also had several chances that he saved. He is still the best in the world! For me, he’s already in World Cup form.
Austria, unfortunately, did not qualify for the World Cup, so Alaba will soon be headed for summer vacation—after a final friendly match against Brazil on June 10. But asked whether he would support Germany and his Bayern teammates at the World Cup, Alaba answered without hesitation in the positive:
Of coures. First and foremost, I wish everyone luck who plays together with me and whom I know well. I wish the best to every single one of them—that they stay healthy and play a good World Cup.
Germany’s next and final test before the World Cup falls on June 8 against Saudi Arabia—oddly, at a time when relations between Saudi Arabia and Germany have dramatically soured over economic disputes. But never mind, let’s play ball.