It doesn’t matter which team you support, who your favourite player is, and how passionate you are about this sport. You have likely heard of David Alaba. Gifted, Alaba is without doubt one of the best defenders in the world. Currently, starring for Real Madrid, he has played 14 matches in La Liga and scored once this season, also making 6 appearances in the Champions league. His performances have so far been impressive, and if the past is anything to go on, they will likely remain so.
But this is not the most intriguing news we have heard about Alaba this year. Alaba’s father was born in Nigeria and migrated to Austria when he was young. With Nigerian heritage on his father’s side, this year Alaba took the time to put his resources to use in Nigeria and support the locals there, which has been missed by many.
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Alaba has never played for Nigeria, instead opting to play for Austria where he grew up. However, that doesn’t mean he has forgotten his roots. Alaba recently made local news for donating an ultra-modern biodegradable toilet facility at the Ogere Remo, a town located in Ogun State. Ogere Remo is the town in which his dad was born, where no doubt there is plenty of appreciation from those in the town and living in the region for his donation.
The first news about this donation came from the social media account of Abika Dabira-Erewa. She is the chief executive officer of the well-known organization Nigerians in Diaspora Commission. She expressed her gratitude and praised Alaba for supporting the local community.
Alaba’s Dad was born in Ogere Remo, but his story has an intriguing background. George Alaba is a prince in Nigeria, born in Vienna, although not the typical prince you might conjure in your imagination. Believe it or not, he was working as a rapper and DJ, spending time outside the aristocracy, and thus being aware of the community’s needs. No doubt he inculcated Alaba with a knowledge of Nigeria while he was still young.
Short Overview of Alaba’s Career
Before ending the article, here is a look at Alaba’s career in more depth. Looking at the clubs he played at, it is noticeable that his path to success was not easy at all. His career went as follows:
- Austria Wien II (from 2007 to 2008), only 5 appearances
- Bayern Munich II (from 2009 to 2010), 33 appearances, one goal
- 2010-2021 Bayern Munich (from 2010 to 2021), 281 appearances, 22 goals
- In 2011, he spent one season in Hoffenheim on loan. There, he had 17 appearances and scored twice.
- Since 2021, he has been a member of Real Madrid. So far, he has had 44 appearances and scored 3 goals.
As you see, Alaba needed more than four years to play for a professional team in one of the most powerful leagues in the world, although he was also representing Austria in the youth categories. In 2009, he made his first appearance with the senior side.
Biggest Career Achievements
Alaba has had a tremendously successful career. He has garnered a large following off the back of it, especially in Germany, Austria, Spain, and Nigeria (the enormous base of his fans and not just because of sporting reasons). Success brings with it admiration and Alaba has had no shortage of it:
- Bayern Munich Achievements: 10-times Bundesliga winner, 2 times winner of the UEFA Champions League. He also won 2 UEFA Super Cups and 2 FIFA Club World Cups.
- Real Madrid: Despite only being in Madrid for a relatively short time, he managed to win 4 titles with Real Madrid. He won La Liga last season, Supercopa de Espana, UEFA Champions League, and UEFA Super Cup.
- The individual achievements Alaba has won are outstanding, to name but a few: La Liga Team of the Season (2021/22), Bundesliga team of the season (2 times), UEFA Champions League Squad of the season (2 times), UEFA team of the year (3 times), Austrian footballer of the year (8 times).
Unfortunately, he is yet to win any trophies with the Austrian national team. Given the relative strength of European football, even qualification is an achievement though. Given his contribution to the local community as well as people all over the world, Austria may have a few extra fans.
A unique defender
Despite Alaba’s profile as a defender, his versatility has been one of his key attributes, at times used as a defensive midfielder, but he primarily plays at centre-back or left-back. In terms of goals though, his numbers speak to his technical quality. In 549 appearances, Alaba has scored 41 times. At Real Madrid, he has a good shot at continuing on in the same fashion.
Following his actions, Nigerians across the country have gone out of their way to express their gratitude for the help they have received from Alaba. Many people consider him a deity in the Ogun region. He might not be the best player of all time, but he certainly qualifies as one of the most generous.