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Alaba talks Ancelotti, Kroos, Benzema, Hazard, Modric, Rudiger, Bayern Munich exit



Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images

It has been close to a year and a half since David Alaba decided to end his association with Bayern Munich and make the switch to Real Madrid. And the 30-year-old has enjoyed tremendous success in his short time at the Spanish capital club.

Alaba won the La Liga title, the UEFA Champions League, and the Spanish Super Cup in his very first season with Real Madrid and added the UEFA Super Cup to his cabinet earlier this campaign.

The Austrian international has become an integral member of Carlo Ancelotti’s setup and has earned a cult hero status among the fans thanks to his attitude and performances on the pitch and his fun-looking celebrations with chairs.

Alaba recently sat down for an interview with GQ magazine (h/t Mundo Deportivo), during which he discussed his decision to leave Bayern Munich as well as his relationship with his manager and teammates at Real Madrid.

Prior to his move to Real Madrid last year, Alaba had spent his entire senior career at Bayern Munich, having joined the Bavarians back in 2008 at a very young age. So, he admitted that leaving the Allianz Arena was not an easy decision for him.

“The decision to leave Munich was one of the most difficult of my life. I took some time to think long and hard and to have many conversations with my family and those around me”.

Alaba had two familiar faces when he arrived at Real Madrid in the form of his former Bayern Munich teammate Toni Kroos and Ancelotti, who had worked with him at the Allianz Arena in the past. And the 30-year-old insisted that the pair helped him adapt in Spain.

“I knew Toni Kroos from my time in Munich. He was a great help to me, especially in my first weeks and months. He and his wife welcomed me and my family with open arms and helped us with everything we needed,” Alaba said.

“Meeting Carlo Ancelotti from Munich also accelerated my arrival. But I also have to thank the whole team, who gave me a great welcome from the first day. I immediately felt very comfortable.”

Further elaborating on his equation with the Italian tactician, Alaba added: “I always had a good relationship with Carlo Ancelotti, even during my time in Munich. I am grateful to be able to have a great coach, who is also a great guy as a person.”

The 30-year-old then spoke about his relationship with some of his Real Madrid teammates, claiming that he was close with Kroos, Antonio Rudiger, Karim Benzema and Eden Hazard. He also touched upon his special bond with Luka Modric, saying that the Croatian was like an elder brother.

“I have a good relationship with everyone, especially Toni Kroos and Antonio Rüdiger, who I have known for a long time. But Eden Hazard and Karim Benzema are also people I spend time with off the pitch. And Luka Modric has almost become like a big brother to me here,” Alaba stated.

Talking about life in the city of Madrid, the defender said: “I have restaurants I like to go to, but I’m getting to know the city better month by month. Of course, the fans recognise you immediately in the cafés.

“Here everyone lives for football and Real Madrid. The people here are more passionate in a positive sense, they live for football and the euphoria is enormous.”

On how he keeps himself motivated to perform at the highest level, Alaba added: “I always set myself goals, whether it’s at work or outside of football. I’ve been doing this since I was young. And then I work with determination to achieve them.”

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid could be in trouble with RFEF if too many Spanish players leave



It is astounding that despite being the biggest club in Spain, Real Madrid do not have many Spanish players to show for it.

Los Blancos do indeed boast of a special diversity in the dressing room, but their lack of locally trained players could pose problems according to MARCA.

The Spanish outlet confirms that UEFA does not mandate the inclusion of any minimum number of locally grown players for a club. However, the Spanish federation stipulates that a club in Spain must boast of at least eight players who meet a specific set of conditions.

Of the aforementioned eight candidates, there must be at least four players who have spent three seasons or 36 months at the club between the ages of 15 and 21.

Currently, only Nacho Fernandez, Dani Carvajal, Lucas Vazquez, Federico Valverde, Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo and Mariano make up the required number on that front.

The problem, however, arises with the condition for the other four players in the list of eight. RFEF stipulates that the second set of four players must have completed at least 36 months in teams attached to the federation of Spain between the ages of 15 and 21.

Only Jesus Vallejo, Alvaro Odriozola, Marco Asensio and Dani Ceballos tick the aforementioned box. However, all four players have uncertain futures at the club and are well-placed to depart in the summer.

There are thus big decisions to be taken over the transfer strategy for June. Real Madrid can work ways to ship all four players out, it would require the re-integration of players like Sergio Arribas, Miguel Gutierrez or Fran Garcia to ensure the fulfilment of the criteria.

With both Vallejo and Odriozola seemingly frozen out of Ancelotti’s plans, their departures from Santiago Bernabeu appear inevitable. Thus, the management could be forced to renew one of Asensio or Ceballos come June.

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