Praise is back. At the top of his lungs and with blood in his eyes. Knowing that claiming has gone from advisable to urgent. The Austrian comes out of the little hell that 2023 is assuming: two injuries have already made him miss 13 games. In other words: Alaba has been absent in 31% of the games this season. One in three, in dry dock. A season that is making him lose cache and strength in the eleven. Take steps back… that you can now use as a run-up. Because Mendy’s injury (again KO), added to the arrival of a marathon in April (nine games in 28 days), make him an indispensable piece. It’s your time; must be now
What has been happening to you? Two injuries in two months. He went from playing everything… to disappearing. participated in the first 22 matches (without stopping until the Cacereñowhen he got a little respite along with a wide deck of headlines). But right there, the problems began: the next match was The ceramic, where he transmitted an abnormal feeling, of not being 100%. Coincidence or causation, just two days later the first injury was confirmed: soleus of the right leg (27 days off; almost a whole month). Missed seven games: the Spanish Super Cup, two Cup qualifiers (Villarreal and Atleti) and three League games (Athletic, Valencia and Real Sociedad).
But he returned to Majorca, punctual for the Club World Cup. After him, he played two league games, Anfield arrived… and crack. Second injury: biceps femoris tear (34 days without playing). Fateful night in Liverpool, where he raised doubts and since which he has not played for Real Madrid again. This second ailment has made him miss six games: the first leg of the Cup (Barcelona), the second leg of the Champions League (Liverpool) and four days of the League (Barcelona, Atleti, Betis and Espanyol). final diagnosis: this is already the second most severe season in terms of injuries of his entire career (only in the 2014-15 he was absent more; but then he suffered a partial rupture of the internal ligament of the knee that sent him to the operating room).
“I feel prepared”
But now he is fully recovered. March 20th, as told by ASthe Madrid doctors signed the medical discharge. Going to the Camp Nou (a day before) seemed hasty due to the demands of the stake, but he no longer had pain and trained normally. Given that situation, the medical services themselves spoke to the Austrian Federation: They recommended that he go to the break, work with his compatriots and play minutes in the second game. A roadmap that has been strictly adhered to, as the player watched the match against Azerbaijan from the stands and three days later, played the second half against Estonia. He felt perfectly, confirmed the good feelings and even spoke in mixed zone. She wanted to launch a plea.
And he did: “I have worked very hard, but I already feel prepared. Very important matches are coming in the League, Cup and Champions… and I want to help Real Madrid on the field. I’m very happy”. Round, defiant with himself. He has only been in seven of Madrid’s 21 games this 2023. and until today, He has only played 57% of the total minutes with Real Madrid. It is being a bitter year, of braking and runrún. And it’s time to hit the table and to be the Alaba of last season again, the one who became so firm as a central defender, that he ‘forced’ Ancelotti to move him away from the band. The one who finished last season being the third outfield player with the most minutes on the team (present in 81% of the total). The man in the chair.
Two problems: Rüdiger and Nacho
If Alaba’s fall began in Cáceres, Rüdiger’s takeoff had the same venue. And it is that since then, the German has played everything, except two breaks (Elche -he had 17 ‘- and Espanyol). In the other 20 games, 18 starts and never substituted. It has become a fixture for Ancelotti, who seems to be taming his volatility. In the Spanish Super Cup he was particularly noted, but far from shrinking, he has been rebuilding until he became indisputable. And also, as central, banishing that experiment that Carletto threatened to practice in summer: use him as a left back. It has not been seen from the port side since October 22, 2022 (matchday 11 against Sevilla). Since then, always on the axis. Alaba’s return fuels a dilemma… what now? Because Nacho is also fighting hard, summoned by Spain and that, like Rüdiger, he has only been left without playing in one game since Cáceres. The competence in the center of the rear of Chamartín is red hot. And Alaba wants his place.