The Austrian has become Real Madrid’s latest superstar signing, landing in LaLiga after a long and successful spell at Bayern Munich.
Real Madrid have made their first acquisition of the summer, signing David Alaba on a free transfer now that the Austrian’s 13-year stint with Bayern Munich has come to an end. The 28-year-old is the most versatile of players, as he can play in defensive midfield or across the back line, but here are five other things you may not know about his story so far.
His record-breaking Austria debut actually came before his senior club debut
Vienna-born Alaba has now played for Austria’s senior national team almost 80 times and has captained his country on occasion, having come a long way from when he made his debut at the age of just 17 years, three months and 20 days. His international debut in a World Cup qualifier against France in 2009 incredibly came before his first team debut at club level. Alaba was still playing for Bayern Munich’s B team at that time but was so obviously talented that Austria coach Dietmar Constantini gave him his debut in senior football at the Stade de France. He was, and remains, the youngest player to ever play for Austria.
He made an immediate impact with Bayern Munich
Following his international debut, Alaba had to wait some four months for his club debut, but Bayern Munich soon came calling. Again, he broke the club’s youngest player record, taking to the pitch aged 17 years, seven months and 17 days. What’s more, he made an immediate impact, assisting A Frank Ribery goal just a minute after coming on in a 6-2 come-from-behind win over SpVgg Greuther Fürth in the German Cup.
He hails from a truly global family
George Alaba, David’s father, has an incredible story in his own right. A prince from Ogun State, Nigeria, George moved to Vienna to study economics. In the Austrian capital, he became the first black guard soldier in the Austrian army before embarking on a music career. Gina, David’s mother, is from the Philippines and he pays tribute to his parents’ nationalities with flags on his boots. If that wasn’t enough, his sister Rose May Alaba is a musician who has had chart-topping songs in Austria.
He’s synonymous with Bayern Munich, but he also played for Hoffenheim
Given that Alaba has become synonymous with Bayern Munich over the past decade, not everyone knows that he had a loan spell away from Bavaria. Over the second half of the 2010/11 season, he spent six months at the finishing school of Hoffenheim and learned a lot within the well-renowned structures there. When he went back to Bayern Munich, he was ready to start for the German giants for the next decade.
He scored a gutsy penalty against Real Madrid
Alaba knows his new club well, as he has faced Real Madrid seven times over the course of his career in the Champions League. The first meeting was in the 2011/12 semi-finals, when he was still a teenager, and he volunteered to take the first penalty of the shootout after the two sides couldn’t be separated over two legs. Alaba scored past Iker Casillas in Bayern’s victory at the Santiago Bernabéu, the stadium he’ll now call home.