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‘Couldn’t be better’

Alaba retains Austrian Player of Year award

David Alaba was crowned Austrian Sports Personality of the Year in early November and signed a new contract with Bayern shortly afterwards. The defender has now completed a personal treble in 2013 after being named Player of the Year in his home country for the third time in a row.

“I’m delighted about this major honour and I’d like to thank all the coaches,” commented Alaba, “you never get used to winning an honour like this. It’s always something special and wonderful. You’re delighted over and over again at moments like this.“

The Player of the Year poll is conducted by news service Austria Presse Agentur (APA) among the ten head coaches in the Austrian Bundesliga. Alaba won the award in truly comprehensive style, becoming the first player since the poll was launched in 1984 to be placed first by all ten coaches. The 21-year-old is also the first player to win the award three times in a row. Alaba is now level with Herbert Prohaska in second place in the all-time roll of honour, behind only four-time winner Ivica Vastic.

Still hungry

“It basically doesn’t get any better than this year,” said Alaba, reflecting on his significant contribution to Bayern’s record-breaking 2013. “He’ll play every game. That’s my firm opinion,” Alaba fan Pep Guardiola recently declared. “He’s an unbelievable person, a modest, good guy who’s never injured. And he’s young and still has room to improve in many areas.“

“I know I still have potential. I want to get better and I’m just as hungry as ever,” responded Alaba, who joined the Bayern U-17 youth team in 2008 from Austria Vienna. “2013 has been full of unbelievably magical moments,” the player continued, “and we want to have all of them over and over again!”