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Alaba talks Benzema, Ballon d’Or, Tchouameni, Lewandowski, favourite position



Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

David Alaba spoke to REAL TOTAL in a detailed interview recently during which he discussed Real Madrid’s start to the season, their recent win over Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Champions League, as well as speaking about teammates like Karim Benzema and Aurelien Tchouameni.

Alaba was one of Los Blancos’ better performers on Wednesday as they defeated Shakhtar 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu. Real had created a host of chances on the night and should have won by a much bigger margin.

So much so that, midfielder Toni Kroos had joked after the game that the scoreline should have been 7-1. Alaba was asked about the German maestro’s comments, to which he replied:

“Only 7-1? (laughs). I don’t know how many chances we had in the end. In any case, there were numerous. Accordingly, I believe that we deserved to win.”

Talking about the start to the defence of their Champions League crown, the Austrian said: “We are definitely happy and satisfied with it. That was certainly our goal, to win the first three games, to be at the top with nine points and thus give us a good starting position.”

On if there had been any changes to the team between last season and this, the ex-Bayern Munich ace responded: “I think it’s similar to what it’s always been – what Real Madrid stands for: a very, very strong team, where the squad is really very strong. 

“It’s no secret that we’re really strong as a team, but of course, we also have certain individual players who can make a difference and bring tremendous quality with them.”

When asked about new signing Aurelien Tchouameni, Alaba could not stop himself from heaping praises on the young midfielder.

“In Tchouameni, we’ve now got a player who not only has potential but who brought quality with him from day one. He was able to help the team from day one and made a really great contribution,” Alaba said.

“And it certainly wasn’t that easy after the departure of Casemiro, who really, I think, played world-class in that position for a decade,” he said.

Alaba will be involved in the first El Clasico of this season against Barcelona in less than two weeks. The meeting will see him come face-to-face against his former Bayern Munich teammate, Robert Lewandowski.

Alaba will face Lewandowski in El Clasico (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Ahead of the reunion, Alaba spoke highly of the Barcelona superstar, calling him one of the best strikers in the game.

“I’m not surprised by Lewy. I know him really well from my time in Munich. For years in Munich, I was able to experience what he does here in Spain.

“He’s one of the best strikers in the world and he’s proven that time and time again over the past few years and he’s showing it again this season,” Alaba said.

Lewandowski is one of the contenders for the Ballon d’Or 2022, along with Alaba’s current Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema. And when asked who would win the Golden Orb, the defender chose the French striker as the favourite, saying:

“Karim. The question doesn’t even arise because if you look at his last season, what he did there, it’s really unbelievable. I’m really very grateful that I was able to experience it and be a part of it – and see him work every day.”

Alaba, over the years, has proven himself to be an extremely versatile player capable of slotting in at left-back, centre-back and even in defensive midfield.

At Real Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti has largely used him as a centre-half and occasionally on the left side. When asked about his favoured position, the Austrian international said:

“I’m more comfortable inside. I also think he [Ancelotti] sees me more in that position. It’s no secret that I can play on the left. If I have to play there or help out, then of course I try to help the team as much as I can.”

Talking about the tough run of fixtures and the packed schedule in the lead-up to the FIFA World Cup next month, Alaba added:

“The next few weeks will be extremely important because we have a lot of games. We play every three days until November, until the World Cup. We really have to be extremely focused and concentrated. 

“It’s important that we prepare as best we can for the games and recover as best we can. We really have to focus on football so that we can be successful over the next few weeks.”

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Real Madrid News

Nacho set to stay at Real Madrid, will be new club captain – report



Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

Real Madrid have finally received some good news as MARCA confirms that Nacho has finally made his decision about his future, and is set to continue at the club for the foreseeable future.

His contract expires in the summer, and Real Madrid had tabled an extension for the player, which was not accepted by the Spaniard at the time. Now, however, he has decided to reject offers from Juventus, Inter Milan, Chelsea, Inter Milan, and AC Milan.

Nacho will sign a one year extension, with the option to extend for another year if both parties reach an agreement.

His continuity also means that he will be the new club captain for the 2023/24 season, since Karim Benzema is leaving the club on a free transfer in the summer. Luka Modric will be second captain, followed by Daniel Carvajal and Toni Kroos.

Carlo Ancelotti has also spoken to the player, confirming that they trust him for next season in the team, which has gone a long way in helping convince the player.

The Italian gaffer also spoke about the Spanish defender’s contract situation after the game against Athletic Club yesterday, saying:

“Asensio, Nacho and Ceballos? We have explained them their roles. The club have offered them renewals. Asensio has preferred to leave, Ceballos and Nacho are still thinking about it.” 

While a centre-back by trade, Nacho has played across the defence for Madrid continuously, including putting shifts at left-back, right-back, and even centre-back.

His departure would have probably pushed Madrid to sign another defender, especially since they are considering selling Ferland Mendy if a good offer arrives.

Regardless of that, though, Madrid are moving to sign Alphonso Davies, and have already made initial contacts with the player. Bayern Munich have not rejected their advances.

Further, the los blancos management have already met with Davies’ entourage twice, cementing their interest in the Canadian ace.

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