Real Madrid and Austria defender David Alaba held an interview this week with SportBild. In it, he talked about his time working with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich, the upcoming tie vs Manchester City, Real Madrid’s season, Karim Benzema, and more. Here are the quotes.
On working with Pep and facing him again
“We have two semi-final games against an extremely strong opponent. We have to be perfectly prepared for that. But of course our goal is to get to the final – and when you’re there, you want to win it.
“We haven’t been in touch lately, but it will be nice to see Pep again. We had a great time together at Bayern. But this time it’s all about beating him.”
On beating Chelsea, and the volatile results (losing to Barcelona by four goals, for example)
“That was madness! We knew Chelsea would put pressure on us from the start. They did very well. But even after conceding the third goal, we kept believing in ourselves and didn’t give up. I think we’ve already shown this season that we’re capable of something like that again.
“We’ve had a lot of outstanding games this season and we’ve also had some close, important wins that you have to get if you want trophies at the end of the day. It’s important that we believe in our strength until the end of this season, even if a game doesn’t go the way we want it to.”
On his Champions League history and most memorable games
“I’m so blessed with my career that I’ve already lifted the trophy twice. The finals with Bayern against Dortmund (2-1) and Paris (1-0) are burned in my mind. You never forget such moments. My debut at 17 against Fiorentina in our round of 16 match and with Real against PSG this season were very special. There are many, many magical moments. I have a few more years to go and hopefully there will be a few more to come.
The title wins are above all. I also have fond memories of the 8-2 win against Barcelona in the last tournament in Lisbon. This was sure to be a game for the history books. The 2012 semifinals and finals were perhaps the most bitter moments for me. Yellow card in the semifinals, so I was banned from the final. And from the stands, too, the final against Chelsea (4:5 on penalties) was very bitter. But that gave me even more motivation and strength afterwards.”
On Karim Benzema
I don’t think there are two opinions at the moment: what Karim is doing this season is crazy. He was already world class in the years before that, but he went one step further. We’re all happy to have him on the team. A hat trick in each of the round of 16 and quarterfinals in the Champions League – that speaks for itself. Hopefully it won’t be his last this season.
Should Lewandowski go to Barcelona?
What Robert does is entirely his decision and I am sure he will do the right thing. What I can say for sure: there is probably no defender who likes to play against him (laughs).