David Alaba has quickly become an integral piece in Real Madrid’s defense after being there for six months, but before that, he had a highly decorated career at Bayern Munich that requires no introduction.
Alaba’s name is synonymous with FC Bayern and the Mia San Mia mentality, having worked his way through the club’s youth teams before breaking into the senior squad in 2010. His final two years at the club were the best in the club’s history, too, having secured the “sextuple” after a season that was temporarily paused due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a recent interview with GQ, Alaba explained that after such a long tenure at Bayern, it was time to experience something else in his career and that Real Madrid has always been a dream destination for him, even as a child. “After 13 years in the same club, I asked myself how things should go on. The penultimate season was the best in the history of FC Bayern, we won six titles. I asked myself what I wanted to do. And finally I decided to change, to face a new challenge and not to go the easy way,” he explained (Sport Bild).
Bayern didn’t leave any stone unturned in trying to get Alaba to stay at the club. A lot of noise had come out suggesting that Alaba’s wage demands were way too high for what Bayern was prepared to offer to get him to sign a contract extension, but his mind was assuredly made up that he finally wanted to experience something different while he was still at the top level. Even a significant salary increase might not have been enough to convince him to stay for longer. From Bayern’s perspective, it was still a massive loss to lose a player of Alaba’s stature and quality on a free transfer after trying everything in their power to get him to stay.
When Real Madrid comes calling your name, Alaba eluded to, it's an incredibly hard opportunity to pass up with how historically big the club is. “When you grow up with football, you know that Real Madrid are the biggest club in the world, so nothing surprised me when I came here,” Alaba said. “Real Madrid is always in the headlines when you have anything to do with football. I’m still hungry and striving for the maximum, so I think I’m in the best possible position to achieve personal and shared goals,” he continued.
So far, the Austrian international has made a total of 22 appearances across all competitions for Real Madrid with two goals and three assists to boast, having played primarily as a center back, with a a few cameos at left back. His most recent display came in the form of Real’s 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the Madrid derby, where he did exceptionally well to keep the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Joao Felix, Matheus Cunha, and Luis Suarez quiet. He’s showing zero signs of slowing down at any time in the near future.