David Alaba

David Alaba was signed by Real Madrid for his vast experience at the top level, with over 400 appearances for Bayern Munich.

What also works in Los Blancos’ favour though is that they were getting a man who has been on the winning side on all three occasions that he has faced their great rivals, Barcelona.

And they weren’t modest victories either.

The most notable was the Champions League humbling the Bavarians handed out to Barcelona in 2019/20, when they won 8-2 in an empty Estadio da Luz at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alaba was also present when Bayern won 7-0 on aggregate in the 2012/13 edition of Europe’s elite competition, and again when the Germans won the second leg of their 2014/15 Champions League knockout tie 3-2.

In these three matches, Alaba’s quality was clear.

He got forward expertly from full-back in the first two, registering an assist in each tie whilst also locking down his flank.

And then in the 8-2 he lined up at left centre-back, where coach Carlo Ancelotti likes to play him for Real Madrid, even if he has had to deputise at left-back in the absence of Ferland Mendy and Marcelo.

Alaba is proving to be an excellent signing so far, having played the fourth-most minutes of anyone in the Real Madrid squad, and has also given more assists than everyone except Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior.

His hoped-for, long-term partnership with Eder Militao will take time to blossom, but wherever Alaba plays on Sunday, he has the capability to do damage to Real Madrid’s old foe.

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