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

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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

Spain midfielder credits Real Madrid assistant manager for career success

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Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Spain’s European Championship campaign so far has been one filled with revelations. From young Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams on the wings to the ever-so-solid midfield, La Roja have impressed across the park and have taken the tournament by storm.

One such player who has played a critical role for the team despite not being in many pundits’ squad for the tournament is Fabian Ruiz. The PSG midfielder has been sensational for Luis de la Fuente’s men so far, scoring once and providing one assist in two games.

Despite not having any direct links with Real Madrid, the Spanish midfielder interestingly credits Davide Ancelotti for his success and AS brings the story.

A chapter in Naples

Fabian Ruiz may have never played for Los Blancos in his career so far, but he crossed paths with the Ancelottis in Naples a few years ago.

Ruiz signed for the Italian club from Real Betis in 2018 for a fee of €30 million. At the time, he was not known widely and was just seen as another routine Spanish midfielder aspiring to make it big.

As revealed by the player in a recent interview, however, it was Carlo Ancelotti’s son and Real Madrid assistant manager Davide Ancelotti who first saw the spark in him.

“Meeting him was a very important step in my career. From the beginning, he backed me, and it was not easy to pay what Napoli paid for me, a player who had not played much in La Liga with Betis.”

“If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be here. I have a very good relationship and friendship with him,” he added.

Fabian Ruiz credits Davide Ancelotti for his success. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

A special eye

Ruiz’s comments on Davide Ancelotti only make it clearer as to why Carlo Ancelotti holds his son’s advice in high regard. It is, after all, a testament to the tactician’s keen eye for special talent.

As revealed earlier this year, it was the manager’s son who suggested Joselu’s substitution against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semifinals when the team was on the brink of elimination.

What happened next was history as the veteran scored twice within minutes to turn the game around and send the Bavarians crashing out.

Davide has been rumoured to be interested in walking his own path soon as a specialist coach, but as it stands, will continue working under his father for at least one more year at Real Madrid.

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