Left Back Turned Center Back Agreed To A Five-Year Contract in Late July
By Jose Angel Solarzano – LA Soccer Press /
On July 21, David Alaba was officially announced as Real Madrid’s latest and most noteworthy signing of the summer.
The left-back turned center-back joins Real Madrid from Bayern Munich on a free transfer, making £376k every week. Alaba and Real Madrid agreed to a five-year contract that will see the 29-year-old represent the Spanish giants until the year 2026.
David Alaba’s signing has left a bittersweet feeling in the hearts of Madridistas’ hearts.
On one hand, Alaba is one of the most decorated players to ever play for Bayern Munich. He won a total of 10 Bundesliga titles, two Champions Leagues, two FIFA Club World Cups, six German Cups, and five German Super Cups during his 11-year stint with the Bavarians.
On the other not-so-sweet hand, the seven-time Austrian footballer of the year is joining the club amidst the departures of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane (who Alaba had openly hoped to play alongside), Real Madrid’s bastions during the unprecedented run to three consecutive Champions League titles.
Though the time of joining may be subpar, Alaba was ecstatic about his transfer. During his presentation, Alaba said, “Thank you very much for the warm welcome. This is a huge day in my career, I’m very excited, proud, and thankful to wear this Real Madrid jersey. Hopefully, we can achieve a lot of success together.”
He ended his speech by exclaiming the two words that every Madridista wants to hear, “Hala Madrid!”
Another regular at new player presentations, club president Florentino Perez, who was recently involved in a scandal that saw leaked audio of him bad-mouthing Real Madrid legends. Perez had some kind words to offer to David Alaba and the fans.
“Today is a very special day for you and for all your family present here, and you now face an exciting challenge: to achieve new successes and win new trophies in the Real Madrid jersey and to be part of the incredible history of our club. Welcome to the club where your dream is to continue winning more titles, welcome to your new home,” Perez said.
To add fuel to the Sergio Ramos-departure fire, which left both the player and the club on less-than-good terms, David Alaba was given the jersey No. 4 of Ramos, the club captain during one of the most successful periods of the club’s history.
The Austrian acknowledged this tense situation by stating that he did not want to ask his teammates to swap their numbers and saying that the No. 4 jersey was the only one available at the time.
“I’m honored to wear the number four, it’s a source of great pride and motivation for me and I want to do it justice. But I’m not here to compare myself to other players or replace them, I’m here to be David Alaba.”
Alaba’s arrival was soured even more a week after this arrival at the club, as Real Madrid released a statement that was bad news for just about every party involved in this transfer. The club’s Twitter announced that the new signing tested positive for coronavirus. This meant that Alaba was not available for the first pre-season match against Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard’s Rangers, where Real Madrid was defeated 2-1.
Alaba is the second player to test positive recently, Madrid’s star striker Karim Benzema being the first. Alaba has been training individually, and Karim Benzema returned to training with the rest of the squad on Aug. 4.
After winning 27 titles with Bayern Munich, Alaba has signed for Real Madrid in a time of uncertainty. The captain of the club is gone, its starting center-back pairing is no more, Ancelotti’s return commenced with a loss to an on-paper weaker team, the star signing is missing the beginning of pre-season, and the squad is still due for a few more players to leave the club.
Real Madrid’s next and final pre-season game is on Aug. 8 against AC Milan. Alaba will have to do justice to the iconic No. 4 jersey if Real Madrid is to challenge for the three major titles once again.
Solorzano is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara. He writes about Spanish futbol for LA Soccer Press.