Football

Alaba says no regrets not playing for Nigeria

Dapo Sotuminu, with agency report
Austria-born Nigerian star, David Alaba, while on a visit to the Super Eagles camp in Austria with his teammates who are also camping at the same facility with Nigeria, declared explicitly that he has no regrets not playing for the Nigerian national soccer team at any level, since he was born and bred in Austria.
Alaba, who was born in Vienna to a Nigerian father, George Alaba and has one sister, who is named Rose. His Visayan mother, Gina emigrated from the Philippines to work as a nurse. His Yoruba Nigerian father is a prince from Ogere, Ogun State who is also a rapper and works as a DJ. He is a Christian and a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
David Alaba had been representing Austria since he was 16 years old starting from the Under-17 level to the Under-19 and Under-21. He noted that, he knew he was from Nigeria, as he was told by his father, but there was no time any member of the Nigerian Football Federation or the national team coaches approached him or gave him any hint that there is a possibility he could play for his fatherland.
Alaba began his career with SV Aspern, his local club in Aspern, in the 22nd district, Donaustadt, before joining the youth setup of FK Austria Wien at age 10. He rose through the ranks quickly, and in April 2008 he was named on the first-team substitutes’ bench for a Bundesliga match. He also played five times for Austria Wien’s reserve team, before leaving in summer 2008 to join German Bundesliga side Bayern Munich.
He stressed that, in Austria which is his home as well as home to a lot of other Nigerians, has given him so much peace, recognition and comfort right from his youthful days in the country.
Alaba, who had been named Austria Player for the Year six times, added that, when he realized that he could play for Nigeria, it was already too late, as he was grown man who had represented Austria several times and had seen it all with nothing else spectacular to prove. However, he said there are no regrets for doing this since he never felt anything to worry about. He stressed that, his consolation is that Nigeria has a lot of talented players across the world that play in the country’s national team and are capable of taking on any national team in the world.
Alada made his international debut in 2009 and has scored 12 times in 61 appearances. He will miss out at the 2018 World Cup after Franco Foda’s side failed to secure qualification.
At club level, Alaba has enjoyed a trophy-laden career with German powerhouse Bayern Munich, lifting his seventh Bundesliga title at the end of the 2017-18 season, among other honours.
While such successes have not been tasted at the national level, Alaba is one of the most decorated footballers in the country and has been awarded the Austrian Footballer of the Year six times.

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