Achieved the impossible at Real
Alaba’s departure to Bavaria was spot on
By Tobias Nordman
28 May 2022 at 8:01
Real Madrid are aiming for the title again in the Champions League. However, the team is not the favorite against Liverpool. But what does that mean. The club has created several sensations with their heroic football. Right in the middle: David Alaba, who did everything right.
David Alaba has achieved what was considered impossible at Real Madrid. David Alaba made sure that no royal tears were shed after Sergio Ramos. Sergio Ramos, this gladiator, this legend who won the Champions League four times with the glorious capital club. The 29-year-old is still far from there. miles away. The Austrian fights with the Madrilenians against Liverpool in the evening in Paris (21: 00 / ZDF, DAZN and in the live ticker on ntv.de) to the first pot at a new employer. Real is not the favorite. But when were they in previous duels in the premier class?
The fact that Los Blancos are playing for the most important trophy in club football at the place where their legend Ramos is struggling to continue his career is also such a strange punch line for this strangely great team from Madrid. For in fact, with her old grandees, she rejects any football innovation. Neither the position game is legendary nor the urgent. Also otherwise good rather nothing for future seminars. The success is based (1st) on coach Carlo Ancelotti’s humanity, which lets his players do what they feel most comfortable with on the field. And it is based (2nd) on a remarkable and probably unique heroic football. Right in the middle: David Alaba, who did everything right.
It was not clear when he left FC Bayern, the club where he grew up, after twelve years last summer. His shift from the record-breaking champions so accustomed to success to the tumbling giants of La Liga was certainly associated with the risk of falling a few meters into football. But now that the season has only one highlight with the final, the view of the decision is changing. While the Munich team winds down a rather mixed and emotionally turbulent season with wild staff debates, Real surfs on a new wave of success with all the coziness of “Coach Carlo”. How long does this trip last? Not clear. The team has been considered excessive for years and has an urgent need for renovation.
Old heroes refute experts
Only the truth refuses to prove this thesis from the experts. And then this real one successfully goes into the abyss in a surreal way, but without crashing. Maybe soon with the next pot on your shoulders. Also because there is Alaba. Besides the incredible Karim Benezma, he is probably the most important pillar in this team filled with old masters like Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro as well as a few exciting talents around the Brazilians Vini junior and Rodrygo and the French strategist Eduardo Camavinga. The new Chief of Defense is playing an excellent season. Not only because of the calmness of the ball and because of his smart structure, he helps the team tremendously. With his charisma, his mia-san-mia confidence and his communication skills, he also ensured that there was no management vacuum after Ramos. “He has arrived at and from the track – as if he has been there for a long time,” says Toni Kroos of Alaba, whom he knows as a very young guy from the time we shared on Säbener Straße.
The stories of Ramos and Alaba in their heart clubs are surprisingly similar. The Real Madrid legend, who played 671 competitive matches and scored a sensational 101 goals, made his tearful departure clear that the reasons lay at the club’s highest level. With remarkable honesty, he made accusations against President Florentino Perez and manager Jose Angel Sanchez upon his official resignation. Ramos really would have liked to have been. But the club would not (anymore). This preceded very tough negotiations. With seemingly long incompatible positions. Ramos finally gave in, but it was already too late (without him knowing it), he had to leave – and he went to Paris St. Germain.
“Fortunately, there are 88 other minutes left”
The royals on the other hand trusted Alaba. He was also a club icon in Munich. He excelled as a left-back and as a defender. But he had played. Allegations of greed were made by, among others, Uli Hoeneß. At the time, the Austrian, represented by his piranha adviser Pini Zahavi, wanted to move up in the most exclusive grade of the record champions, but he was denied entry. They only know in Munich whether it was the right decision from an economic point of view. Sportingly, on the other hand, it was a misjudgment. The defense was FC Bayern’s Achilles heel this season. Although the club were German champions, they failed for the tenth time in a row in the cup (second round, 0: 5 against Borussia Mönchengladbach) and the premier class (quarter-final against FC Villarreal), but crashed and too soon. Real on the other hand made a fantastic journey through Europe. With a new leader. With wild gameplay.
“If you only look at their last few minutes, Real are unbeatable. Their comebacks were impressive,” said Liverpool coach Jürgen Klopp about the stony path of the 13-time title holder. His hope: “If they played like that for 90 minutes, it would be complicated. But luckily there are 88 other minutes.”
When Alaba switched to Los Blancos in the summer, when his tears were dry, he quickly knew what to expect. Unlike FC Bayern, he was not allowed to slowly grow into his new role. Alaba should deliver right away, Alaba should be boss right away, Alaba should replace Ramos. President Perez said at the official presentation of the Austrian: “You come from FC Bayern, one of the biggest clubs in the world, a friendly club with whom you have won 28 titles. We are very happy to be able to count on you. Today begins a great new challenge for you to decorate the history of our club with more titles. ” More pressure is hardly possible. Alaba took it easy – and delivered.
A very different leader
Alaba is a completely different type than its predecessor. Ready in commands, elegant in a duel. With his inner serenity, he manages to retain control or regain it even in the wildest phases. Ramos, on the other hand, was the type to set an example. With his robust, sometimes very sour nature, in 2018, for example, he helped decide the final against Liverpool with two physical attacks. After an unfair duel, striker Mo Salah injured his shoulder so badly that he was unable to continue playing. Ramos later crashed into goalkeeper Loris Karius so hard that he made two fatal mistakes in a row. As it later emerged, the German ended the final in Kiev with a concussion.
Ramos wrote history. Whether you like him or not. He is one of the most legendary central defenders of this time. In Paris, he announced a few weeks ago that he would like to continue after a year in which 33 matches were missed due to injury. In general, he would like to play at the top level for another four to five years. It does not matter to Alaba, his time in Madrid is now. And he believes his royals will win the pot again against Liverpool. As in Kiev. He would even lift it for the third time. What speaks for Real against Jürgen Klopp’s urgent sensation? In fact, nothing. And yet so much. The heroic football is unpredictable, the confidence in the power of the club is limitless.
“We are Real Madrid. We are going to Paris with this confidence, just to win there,” Alaba told the kicker. In addition to the skills of the individual players, this also led the team to success in the previous rounds against Paris St. Germain, defending champions FC Chelsea and Manchester City. The quality of the team is very, very high, you have excellent individual players who can decide matches at any time. “In addition, there is a very special spirit and competitive spirit that we showed in the knockout matches. We are a team that can always fight back, which never gives up.”