A decade as a Bayern pro: David Alaba's impressive anniversary
10 February is a date that David Alaba will probably never forget: Exactly ten years ago today, he made his professional debut as a 17-year-old when the then-Bayern coach Louis van Gaal substituted him on for Anatoliy Tymoshchuk in the 59th minute of the DFB Cup match against Greuther Fürth. It was the start of what would become an impressive career.
Youngest player to win eight league titles
A lot has happened since then: At just 27 years of age, the defensive all-rounder has eight league titles on his CV - no other player in Bundesliga history has won as many at his age. In addition, he has won five DFB Cups, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup in 2013 and many more...
Almost level with Ribéry
But the Vienna-born player has not yet had enough: "We are still where we want to be," Alaba said after the goalless draw against RB Leipzig on Sunday evening, which saw the German record champions maintain the gap between them and the men from Saxony at the top of the table. With 13 matches still to play and only one point separating the two sides, he said Bayern are "still a long way off" defending the league title once again - which would be his ninth championship. If so, Alaba will draw level with his former team-mate Franck Ribéry in terms of titles won.
With the exception of a six-month loan spell at TSG Hoffenheim at the end of the 2010/11 season, the Austrian has always played professionally for the German record champions, making him the longest-serving player in the squad after Bayern veteran Thomas Müller. Alaba has played a total of 366 matches for Munich, scoring 30 goals and setting up another 43.
Vienna to Munich at 16
But it's been a long journey to get to where he is now. At the tender age of 16, Alaba left his home club Austria Vienna and moved to Munich to fulfil his dream of becoming a professional footballer. It was not an easy year: it took a lot of hard work and perseverance, but in the end it paid off. Via Bayern's youth teams, the versatile defender finally made it into the first team and settled straight away - and after ten years wearing Bayern colours, it's impossible to imagine the club without him.