By ‘Tana Aiyejina:
Nigerian-born Austria international, David Alaba, has revealed that the Nigerian Football Federation never approached him to play for them, prompting him to commit his international future to Austria.
The 17-year-old‘s mother is from the Philippines while his father is from Nigeria, but he was born in Vienna, Austria, and grew up playing for the youth team of Austria Wein.
He was qualified to represent Nigeria, Germany and Philippines at international level but he opted for Austria.
”There was a request from the Philippines (to play for them), but Nigeria has never approached me. And Germany would anyway never been an issue, since I have no connection to the country,” the Bayern Munich player said in an interview with a German sports magazine.
The left-back is the youngest player ever to play an official match for the German side and the Austrian national team. He made his debut for Austria at 17 years and 112 days in an international friendly against France, coming on as a substitute in the 80th minute in October. He has three caps so far for his adopted country. He had earlier played for Austria at U-17 and U-21 levels. Since his UEFA Champions League display against Fiorentina, there has been much hype surrounding Alaba.
The youngster was called up as a replacement for the injured Diego Contento in the Champions League tie and his displays in his first full game for the Bavarians earned him praises from Bayern‘s chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and coach Louis van Gaal and midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Alaba started as a left-sided midfielder but remarkably van Gaal has used him in recent games as a left-sided defender. But due to his versatility, he can also play as a left winger.
On the left wing, Alaba has used his great speed and technique to help Bayern‘s attack. He is also very skilful and takes on players very easily; his passing ability is very good and has a good vision of the field.
The player, who rejected offers from Inter Milan and AC Milan before moving to Bayern in 2008, has his sight set on the English Premier League.
”I always put my little goals that I want to achieve step by step. My next goal is to prevail and one day play in the first team (of Bayern Munich). Then I want to go to England, preferably to Arsenal.”
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