Inspiring Pinoys

The Half –Blood Prince of football: David Alaba

Metro Manila

Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | May 27, 2013

By Michael Alvir of

What makes a Filipino superstar? Or in the case of Austrian born David Alaba, what makes a superstar Filipino?

Growing up I never knew much about Austria, other than what I saw on: The sound of music and Ammadeus movies - Mozart I later found out was actually German. I knew even less about Austrian sport. My earliest Austrian sporting memory was the ‘Tour De Salzburg’ – or maybe that was the Von Trapp children cycling in the Bavarian Alps, I can’t remember. Let’s just say, until early last year I knew nothing about Austrian sports.

It was during the 2012 Champions league semi -final between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, that I heard an SBS commentator mention the Filipino lineage of Bayern defender David Alaba. It was a surreal moment, watching a 19 year old Filo defender shut down football ‘God’ Cristiano Ronaldo up and down that left sideline. In that same game he took the first penalty in the decisive penalty shoot-out that eliminated Real Madrid. I began construction of the Alaba bandwagon.

Born In Vienna in 1992 ,the son of a Nigerian DJ and Filipino Nurse, David Olatukunbo Alaba had a rare mix of genes, one half that was of proven football pedigree , and the other half were – well Filipino genes.

But ever since the age of 10 this Visayan-Nigerian hybrid has been nothing less than a revelation. He rose quickly through the club ranks in the Austrian capital, and like Mozart before him, by 15 Alaba’s prodigious talents were the talk of Vienna.

When he was ‘’sixteen going on seventeen’’, Alaba’s talent, like Liesl Von Trapp was noticed by the Germans, and in 2008 German super-club Bayern Munich got his signature. He was to become their youngest debutant at 17 years and 7 months.

Since that debut he has shone on the European stage, he is the corner stone in a defence that has suffocated the best forward lines the world has to offer, stopping attacks from players like Xavi, Iniesta and the legendary Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona .

At the age of 17 and to the disappointment of overly optimistic Azkal fans, he became the youngest ever first team player for his native Austria.

The football world is now aware of David Alaba and although he is in contract until 2015, that has not stopped the speculation about his future, it is rumoured that FC Barcelona have approached him and that in 2010 Sir Alex Ferguson the manager of Manchester United paid him a personal visit.

Any chairman who is thinking of making an offer for Alaba will need to budget for around 22 Million Euros, yep’ that is around $29 Million Australian , I don’t know what that is in Pesos, but it’s a lot of Bicol Express.

Money, however is the last thing on his mind right now. A few weeks ago Bayern Munich defeated FC Barcelona to make it to the Uefa Champions League Final. Alaba played an instrumental role.

On the 26th of May, a global TV audience of over 150 million people will watch our David Alaba step into Wembley Stadium, on that hallowed turf he and his team mates will battle fellow Germans Borussia Dortmund for the Uefa Champions League Trophy.

I urge patriots, historians and jealous Azkal fans to set their alarm clocks to 4:30 am on Sunday morning. I will be waking up colder than a lonely goat-herder but ready to watch history.

What makes a Filipino? Blood and Family. What is our greatest football moment? …

You are about to watch it.

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