Alaba faces a huge challenge
David Alaba has arrived at Real Madrid. A little late because of the European Football Championship. The club is happy, and so is the player. The expectations are huge. So is the pressure. Because Alaba has to close a gap in the royal family that actually cannot be closed.
This is where Sergio Ramos arrives at PSG
An amazing parallel to Ramos
Sergio Ramos is happy. You have to be more precise: Sergio Ramos is happy again. Because the past few months have not been his. The Spanish defense centurion didn’t really know anything like that. Because Ramos was very successful as a footballer throughout his life. Sure, there have been a few minor setbacks every now and then, but whoever has won the Champions League several times, who is world and European champion (just to name the big titles), can deal with it when things temporarily crunch.
But what had happened in the past few months could no longer be classified in the “crunch” category. Because Ramos was not only injured every now and then, he also had to vacate his place at Real Madrid. Inconceivable actually, because no one at Real Madrid was more Real Madrid than the 35-year-old. No Cristiano Ronaldo. No Toni Kroos. And no other member of the Galactic team, who had been feared in Europe during the 2010s. The central defender wasn’t just the captain and leader, he was the head of mentality. The choice of his means was not always that of a gentleman. But mostly very successful.
Ramos is gone now and he makes no secret of the fact that the reasons for this are at the top of the club. At his official farewell, he brought charges against President Florentino Perez and manager Jose Angel Sanchez with remarkable frankness. Ramos would have liked to stay. But the club didn’t want to (anymore). This was preceded by very tough negotiations. With positions that were apparently incompatible for a long time. Ramos finally gave in, but by then it was already too late, he had to go and went to Paris St. Germain. He is happy there now. The royal, however, rely on David Alaba. It comes from FC Bayern. And he has a similar story to tell. He was also an icon in Munich. As a left-back, he was outstanding, as was the last time as head of defense. But Alaba had gambled away. This is how its story is told.
Ramos: Farewell to Real in tears
In Munich, others were the leaders
Alaba is happy again too. His farewell tears from Munich are forgotten. The second big chapter of his career now begins for the Austrian. And unlike in the past at Bayern, he will hardly be allowed to slowly grow into his role. Alaba has to deliver immediately, Alaba has to be the boss immediately, Alaba has to replace Ramos. Which of course doesn’t work that way. Because the Austrian is a completely different player than the Spaniard. More strategists, more gentlemen, less tough duel types and never ruffians. And not the type in Munich who led the team emotionally. That was mainly Thomas Müller and Joshua Kimmich.
In Madrid, the hierarchy will change mercilessly without Ramos. Alaba will have to find its place in it. It will be a place high up, at least that’s the expectations. President Perez said at the official presentation of the Austrian: “You come from Bayern Munich, one of the largest clubs in the world, a friendly club with which you have won 28 titles. We are happy to be able to count on you. Today starts for a great new challenge to decorate the history of our club with more titles. ” In the ritualized enthusiasm of a greeting, Alaba also found nice words for his employer. It is a “big day” of his career. “I’m very happy, very proud and honored. Hala Madrid!”, He said and also explained why, despite other offers, he decided on the Spanish top club, Real is “the biggest club in the world”. Greetings to Munich! Alaba did not reveal in which position he wanted to play, he was “flexible in use”.
Actually there can only be one role for Alaba …
It should be clear, however, that coach Carlo Ancelotti, whom he knows from days together at Bayern, plans him as a central defender. Especially if Raphael Varane, the eternal partner of Ramos, should leave the club. A move to Manchester United is being discussed. With the young Eder Militao and Nancho Fernández, the Italian would only have two options besides Alaba. None, however, that is suitable to lead a defense. The fact that the new man from FC Bayern can also play on the left and in the central midfield is his advantage. But in the center are Toni Kroos, Luka Modrić, who has just extended, and Casemiro. And as a full-back Ferland Mendy has earned a great status. Alaba is needed as in the center. Anything else would be a surprise.
And to complete the chain of clues: The Austrian will play with the number 4. With the old number of Ramos. “On Tuesday the club approached me and offered me number 4. There weren’t that many options, but of course I know what this number stands for: It stands for strength, for leadership,” said Alaba. Perhaps he would have preferred to continue playing with “his” number, the “27”. However, that was not possible. Because of a strange rule. Because in Spain, players from the first team are only allowed to choose from the numbers 1 to 25. Well, Alaba didn’t look particularly unhappy about it. No, he even looked happy. Very happy. (tno)