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'Want to lead the way'

Alaba faces unusual season

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David Alaba will obviously recognize a lot when he returns to Säbener Straße after the summer break. However, one thing will be completely different from all his previous nine years at the club. The Austrian faces his first season playing without his mate Franck Ribéry.

Alaba made his debut for the German record champions at the tender age of 17 in 2010 and he played alongside the Frenchman back then. The man from Vienna was on the pitch for just one minute before he laid on the assist for his team-mate. Since then the duo – with the exception of a six-month loan period for Alaba at Hoffenheim – were automatic first choices in the FC Bayern line-up.

Target: Leader as in the national team

Together they won eight league titles. No other Bundesliga player has won the league as often at the age of 26. Now they go their separate ways but there is no reason for the full-back to be downhearted. With the current rebuilding of the team, he sees his role as, "leading the way and accepting more responsibility, primarily about my own performances."

He has succeeded in a similar situation with the Austria team. With 69 caps under his belt, Alaba is now the captain and he was looking forward to securing two wins for Austria before the summer break. However, Alaba had to miss the game against North Macedonia on Monday night due to a thigh injury that he picked up in his impressive performance against Slovenia.

New duo, same plan

That meant the summer break started somewhat earlier than expected and the treble winner of 2013 now has time to prepare for next season. On the left flank, he could play alongside Kingsley Coman, Ribéry’s possible successor, and that has worked really well in recent months.

Together they are looking to give their all so that Alaba can continue to be successful in the league and win the Bundesliga for the ninth time – that would put him level with his mate Ribéry as a record champion.

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