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Ribéry and Alaba strike up strong partnership

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Franck Ribéry and David Alaba have always gotten along well, with the pair exchanging gags and witticisms ever since the Austrian stepped up to the pro ranks late in the 2008/09 campaign. They frequently fall into deep conversation, and frequently celebrate together. The Frenchman has even picked up a spot of Alaba's typically Viennese irony, as the full-back recently revealed with a grin.

The gifted winger from the northern French coast and the Austrian with Nigerian and Philippine roots have struck up a highly productive partnership, much in evidence in Tuesday evening’s victory over Madrid. Ribéry, a handful for the Spaniards all night, opened the scoring after 17 minutes, “and had a terrific game," as Jupp Heynckes enthused. Franck received outstanding support down the left from Alaba, who has been stationed at left back for the last five weeks. “He's a really good lad," the France international said in praise of the 19-year-old.