David Alaba
Alaba with Bayern Munich in 2019
Personal information
Full name David Olatukunbo Alaba[1]
Date of birth (1992-06-24) 24 June 1992 (age 31)[2]
Place of birth Vienna, Austria
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)[3]
Position(s) Centre-back, left-back, midfielder
Team information
Current team
Real Madrid
Number 4
Youth career
2001–2002 SV Aspern
2002–2008 Austria Wien
2008–2009 Bayern Munich
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Austria Wien II 5 (0)
2009–2010 Bayern Munich II 33 (1)
2010–2021 Bayern Munich 281 (22)
20111899 Hoffenheim (loan) 17 (2)
2021– Real Madrid 67 (3)
International career
2007–2009 Austria U17 20 (5)
2010 Austria U19[4] 5 (1)
2009–2010 Austria U21 5 (0)
2009– Austria 105 (15)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 22:03, 17 December 2023 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 01:40, 21 November 2023 (UTC)

David Olatukunbo Alaba (German pronunciation: [ˈdeɪvɪd ˈalaba];[5] born 24 June 1992) is an Austrian professional footballer who plays as a centre-back or left-back for La Liga club Real Madrid and captains the Austria national team. Considered one of the best defenders in the world, he is renowned for his versatility, technical skills and ability to contribute effectively in both defensive and offensive roles on the field.[6][7]

Alaba started out in Bayern's youth system before being promoted to the reserve team for the 2009–10 season.[8] In January 2011, Alaba joined TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on loan until the end of the 2010–11 season. He returned to Bayern at the start of the 2011–12 season, where he went on to become a regular member of the first-team squad. Alaba made over 400 appearances for Bayern Munich, winning 27 honours including ten Bundesliga titles and two UEFA Champions League titles in 2013 and 2020, both as part of trebles. During his time in Germany, he was named in the UEFA Team of the Year three times. In 2021, Alaba signed for Real Madrid; he won the 2021–22 La Liga, Supercopa and Champions League title in his debut season.

Alaba is Austria's second youngest player to play for their senior national team, debuting for them in 2009 as a 17-year-old.[9][8] He has earned over 100 caps and represented his country at UEFA Euro 2016 and UEFA Euro 2020. He was voted Austrian Footballer of the Year on nine occasions (including six consecutive times from 2011 to 2016).

Club career

Early career

Born in Vienna,[3] Alaba began his career with SV Aspern, his local club in Aspern, in the Vienna district Donaustadt, before joining the youth setup of FK Austria Wien at age 10. He rose through the ranks quickly, and in April 2008 he was named on the first-team substitutes' bench for an Austrian Bundesliga match.[10] He also played five times for Austria Wien's reserve team,[11] before leaving in summer 2008 to join German Bundesliga side Bayern Munich.[12]

Bayern Munich

Youth, reserves and Hoffenheim loan

He started out in Bayern's youth system, playing for the under 17 and under 19 teams, before being promoted to the reserve team for the 2009–10 season.[8] He made his debut in a 3. Liga match against Dynamo Dresden in August 2009[13] and scored his first professional goal for FC Bayern Munich II on 29 August 2009.[14] He was named in Bayern Munich's squad for the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League,[15] where he was assigned the shirt number 27. In January 2010, it was announced that Alaba would train with the first team for the rest of the 2009–10 season,[16] along with reserve teammates Diego Contento and Mehmet Ekici.[17]

The trio were named on the first-team substitutes' bench for the first time on 10 February 2010, for a DFB-Pokal game against SpVgg Greuther Fürth, and Alaba came on in the 59th minute, replacing Christian Lell.[18] After one minute on the pitch, and with his second touch of the game, he set up Franck Ribéry to give Bayern a 3–2 lead, in a match they went on to win 6–2. He also became Bayern's youngest ever player in a competitive fixture, at 17 years, 7 months and 8 days old.[19]

In January 2011, Alaba joined TSG 1899 Hoffenheim on loan until the end of the 2010–11 season. Later that month, he scored his first-ever goal in the Bundesliga in a 2–2 draw with FC St. Pauli.[20]

2011–2013

Alaba returned to Bayern at the start of the 2011–12 season, where he became a regular member of the first-team squad. On 23 October 2011, Alaba scored his first league goal for Bayern in the 1–2 away loss against Hannover 96. On 20 December, Alaba was named Austrian Footballer of the Year for the first time.[21] During the second half of the 2011–12 Bundesliga season, he established himself as a starter for Bayern. On 25 April 2012, he played in the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid, and scored Bayern's first kick of the shootout as they won 3–1 on penalties. However, due to being booked in the semi-final, Alaba was unable to play in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final through suspension.[22]

On 5 December, Alaba scored his first Champions League goal in a 4–1 win over BATE Borisov in the 2012–13 season.[23] On 18 December, Alaba was named Austrian Footballer of the Year for the second year running.[24] On 2 April 2013, Alaba scored the seventh-fastest goal (25.02 seconds) in Champions League history to set Bayern on their way to a 2–0 win over Juventus.[25] On 25 May, he played the full 90 minutes at left-back as Bayern beat Borussia Dortmund 2–1 in the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final.

2013–2015

Alaba playing for Bayern Munich in 2014

During the 2013–14 season, he played in the 2013 DFL-Supercup against Borussia Dortmund,[26] the UEFA Super Cup against Chelsea,[27] and two matches in the FIFA Club World Cup; the first against Guangzhou Evergrande[28] and the second against Raja Casablanca.[29] On 2 December 2013, Alaba signed a new contract with Bayern Munich, which would expire in 2018.[30] On 20 December, Alaba was named Austrian Footballer of the Year for the third year running.[31] In January 2014, Alaba was named as the left-back in the UEFA Team of the Year 2013 for the first time.[32]

On 18 December 2014, Alaba was named Austrian Footballer of the Year for the fourth year running.[33] In January 2015, he was voted as the left-back in the UEFA.com Team of the Year 2014 by users (352,070 votes)[34] for the second consecutive year.[35] On 31 March, Alaba suffered a medial ligament damage in his left knee during Austria's 1–1 friendly draw with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Alaba missed the rest of the season for Bayern because of the injury.[36]

2015–2021

Alaba training with Bayern Munich in 2017

In August 2015 against his former club 1899 Hoffenheim, Alaba's misplaced pass resulted in Kevin Volland scoring in nine seconds, the quickest Bundesliga goal of all time.[37] On 17 December, Alaba was named Austrian Footballer of the Year for the fifth consecutive year.[38] On 8 January 2016, Alaba was voted as the left-back in the UEFA.com Team of the Year 2015 for the third consecutive year.[39] On 18 March, he extended his contract until 2021.[40] On 21 December, Alaba was named Austrian Footballer of the Year for the sixth year running.[41] On 10 February 2018, Alaba made his 200th Bundesliga appearance in a 2–1 win over Schalke.[42]

During the 2019–20 season, Alaba was converted to the centre-back position, often partnering up with Jérôme Boateng, due to an injury crisis. He adapted to the position very well and soon became the leader of the defence. On 23 August 2020, he played the full 90 minutes at centre-back as Bayern beat Paris Saint-Germain 1–0 in the 2020 UEFA Champions League Final. Bayern Munich went on to have their second treble-winning season after 2012–13, and thereby Alaba securing his second continental treble in his career.

After several attempts to extend his contract, Alaba mentioned that Bayern Munich asked him earlier whether he was interested in a swap deal with Leroy Sané from Manchester City, which he considered as a "slap in the face".[43] On 16 February 2021, Alaba announced that he would leave Bayern Munich following the 2020–21 season after thirteen years with the club.[44]

Real Madrid

On 28 May 2021, Spanish side Real Madrid announced they had signed Alaba on a five-year contract beginning on 1 July.[45] He inherited the number 4 jersey, previously worn by the last captain Sergio Ramos over the past 16 seasons.[46] He made his debut on 14 August, starting in a 4–1 win over Alavés.[47] He scored his first goal on 24 October in a 2–1 win over Barcelona, his first El Clásico, becoming the second Austrian player to score in El Clasico history after Hans Krankl (1979).[48] On 6 April 2022, Alaba made his 100th Champions League appearance in a 3–1 away win against Chelsea in the quarter-final of the competition.[49]

On 10 August 2022, he got the opening goal in the 2022 UEFA Super Cup against Eintracht Frankfurt with Real Madrid going on to win 2–0.[50] On 14 August 2022, he scored the winning goal for Real Madrid from a free kick in a 2–1 away victory against Almería.[51]

During Real Madrid's La Liga match against Villarreal on 17 December 2023, Alaba suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, requiring surgery and an extended recovery period.[52][53]

International career

Alaba with Austria in 2012

Alaba played for Austria at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level. In October 2009, he was called up to the senior Austria national team for a match against France.[54] He made his debut in this game, making him the youngest player in the history of the Austria national team.[55] He scored his first goal for Austria on 16 October 2012 in a World Cup Qualifying game at home to Kazakhstan where Austria were 4–0 winners.

At the age of just 19, Alaba won the prestigious vote for Austrian Footballer of the Year in 2011. In the poll organised by APA (Austrian press agency) among the coaches of the ten Austrian Bundesliga clubs, Alaba finished top on 21 points, just ahead of Austria Wien's Dutch star Nacer Barazite (20 points) and VfB Stuttgart's Martin Harnik. In December 2012, he received the award for the second consecutive year.[56] On 10 September 2013, Alaba scored the only goal of the game against Ireland in the 84-minute to give Austria a 1–0. He scored the final goal in Austria's 3–0 win in the final qualification match against Faroe Islands.

Alaba ended the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign as Austria's top scorer with six goals.[57]

He scored a ninth-minute Panenka-style penalty kick on 8 September 2015 to open a 4–1 away win over Sweden at the Friends Arena in Solna. The result qualified Austria for UEFA Euro 2016, their first successful qualification campaign for the continental championship.[58] Alaba played in all three group matches as Austria finished last in their group with one point.[59]

On 24 March 2017, he captained Austria for the first time in a World Cup 2018 qualification game against Moldova in a 2–0 victory, deputizing in the absence of suspended captain Julian Baumgartlinger.[60] Alaba played in eight matches as Austria failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.[61]

Alaba captained Austria during the UEFA Euro 2020, in which they reached the knockout stages in that competition for the first time in their history.[62]

On 17 June 2023, Alaba played his 100th match for Austria in a 1–1 away draw against Belgium during the UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying.[63]

Style of play

A versatile defender, Alaba regularly plays as a left-back, and he has been deployed as a centre-back, central midfielder, and left midfielder. Although not known to have a fast pace, and his positioning has sometimes been questionable, Alaba possesses a powerful left foot; in which besides his defensive prowess, he is noted for his offensive capabilities and ability to read the game, where he has gained a reputation carrying the ball upfront in attacking plays and supplies his team with passes. Alaba frequently takes set pieces, despite not very renowned for his ability there. Alaba has been noted for his talents being visible since a young age, and he has been singled out for his mentality, consistency, and leadership.[64][65][66][67][68]

Personal life

Alaba was born in Vienna to George and Gina Alaba and has one sister,[69] a professional recording artist, named Rose May Alaba.[70] His Yoruba Nigerian father[71] is a prince from Ogere[72] who is also a rapper and works as a DJ.[73] His Visayan[70] mother emigrated from the Philippines to work as a nurse. He is a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.[74][75]

Outside football

Alaba was chosen to be on the cover of FIFA 15 and FIFA 16 in Austria next to Lionel Messi.[76][77]

Career statistics

Club

As of match played 17 December 2023
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup[a] Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Bayern Munich II 2009–10[78] 3. Liga 23 1 23 1
2010–11[79] 3. Liga 10 0 10 0
Total 33 1 33 1
Bayern Munich 2009–10[78] Bundesliga 3 0 1 0 2[b] 0 6 0
2010–11[79] Bundesliga 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
2011–12[80] Bundesliga 30 2 6 1 11[b] 0 47 3
2012–13[81] Bundesliga 23 3 4 0 11[b] 2 0 0 38 5
2013–14[82][83] Bundesliga 28 2 5 0 12[b] 2 4[c] 0 49 4
2014–15[83][84] Bundesliga 19 2 3 3 6[b] 0 1[d] 0 29 5
2015–16[83][85] Bundesliga 30 1 5 0 10[b] 1 1[d] 0 46 2
2016–17[86][87] Bundesliga 32 4 5 1 9[b] 0 1[d] 0 47 5
2017–18[88] Bundesliga 23 2 6 0 7[b] 0 0 0 36 2
2018–19[89] Bundesliga 31 3 4 0 7[b] 0 1[d] 0 43 3
2019–20[90][91] Bundesliga 28 1 5 1 8[b] 0 1[d] 0 42 2
2020–21[92] Bundesliga 33 2 1 0 8[b] 0 3[e] 0 45 2
Total 281 22 46 6 92 5 12 0 431 33
1899 Hoffenheim (loan) 2010–11[79] Bundesliga 17 2 1 0 18 2
Real Madrid 2021–22 La Liga 30 2 3 0 12[b] 1 1[f] 0 46 3
2022–23 La Liga 23 1 2 0 11[b] 0 3[g] 1 39 2
2023–24 La Liga 14 0 0 0 3[b] 0 0 0 17 0
Total 67 3 5 0 26 2 4 0 102 5
Career total 398 28 53 7 118 6 16 1 584 41
  1. ^ Includes DFB-Pokal
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Appearances in UEFA Champions League
  3. ^ One appearance in DFL-Supercup, one appearance in UEFA Super Cup, two appearances in FIFA Club World Cup
  4. ^ a b c d e Appearance in DFL-Supercup
  5. ^ One appearance in UEFA Super Cup, two appearances in FIFA Club World Cup
  6. ^ Appearance in Supercopa de España
  7. ^ One appearance and one goal in UEFA Super Cup, two appearances in FIFA Club World Cup

International

As of match played 21 November 2023[93]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Austria 2009 2 0
2010 3 0
2011 11 0
2012 5 1
2013 10 5
2014 4 2
2015 7 3
2016 12 0
2017 5 0
2018 8 2
2019 5 1
2020 4 0
2021 15 0
2022 7 1
2023 7 0
Total 105 15
Scores and results list Austria's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Alaba goal.[94]
List of international goals scored by David Alaba
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 16 October 2012 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria  Kazakhstan 3–0 4–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 22 March 2013  Faroe Islands 5–0 6–0
3 26 March 2013 Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland  Republic of Ireland 2–2 2–2
4 7 June 2013 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria  Sweden
1–0
2–1
5 10 September 2013  Republic of Ireland 1–0 1–0
6 15 October 2013 Tórsvøllur, Tórshavn, Faroe Islands  Faroe Islands 3–0 3–0
7 8 September 2014 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria  Sweden 1–0 1–1 UEFA Euro 2016 qualification
8 9 October 2014 Zimbru Stadium, Chișinău, Moldova  Moldova 1–0 2–1
9 27 March 2015 Rheinpark Stadion, Vaduz, Liechtenstein  Liechtenstein 3–0 5–0
10 8 September 2015 Friends Arena, Solna, Sweden  Sweden 1–0 4–1
11 17 November 2015 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria   Switzerland 1–1 1–2 Friendly
12 23 March 2018 Wörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt, Austria  Slovenia 1–0 3–0
13 6 September 2018 Generali Arena, Vienna, Austria  Sweden 2–0 2–0
14 16 November 2019 Ernst-Happel-Stadion, Vienna, Austria  North Macedonia 1–0 2–1 UEFA Euro 2020 qualification
15 20 November 2022  Italy 2–0 2–0 Friendly

Honours

Alaba with the Austrian Sports Personality of the Year award in 2014

Bayern Munich[95]

Real Madrid

Individual

See also

References

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External links

Media related to David Alaba at Wikimedia Commons