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

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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

Real Madrid offer new €4.8 million-a-year deal to forward, player wants €6 million

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Photo by Rafa Babot/Getty Images

With several Real Madrid players set to be out of contract in the summer, the club need to start making moves to tie down the stars they intend to keep hold of.

One such player who Real Madrid seem interested in retaining is Marco Asensio.

The 27-year-old looked certain to depart early in the season, but has managed to work his way back into Carlo Ancelotti’s plans and proved that he can be of value to the team.

It has led to the club altering their stance on his future, with Los Blancos now ready to keep him at the Santiago Bernabeu beyond the current season.

According to Tomas Gonzalez-Martin, Real Madrid have already tabled a four-year contract to Asensio with a salary of €4.8 million per year.

It represents a slight increase in his current wages, which stand at around €4.5 million per season. However, Asensio’s agent, Jorge Mendes, is unlikely to accept these terms and is seeking a deal worth €6 million-a-year net.

The Portuguese super-agent will push for at least €5.5 million per season, but Real Madrid are unlikely to exceed the €5 million mark as per the report.

This is because Los Blancos believe that Asensio will never be a guaranteed starter at the club and they do not want to splurge heavily on a squad player.

The winger, for his part, has always maintained that he wants to stay at Real Madrid. But he is also seeking a prominent role and a bigger payday. If that is the case, a move away from the club could be the way forward for the ex-Mallorca star.

PSG were said to have tried signing him in the January window, and would be willing to offer him a €15 million signing bonus in the summer. Clubs from the Premier League and Serie A would also be interested in Asensio’s situation.

So, the ball is in the winger’s court now and it is upto him to decide whether he opts to accept the proposal tabled by Real Madrid or looks for a new challenge away from the Bernabeu.

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