Alaba: The World Cup is our biggest target
Interview: David Alaba
fcbayern.de: Hello David! Your Bayern team-mates will be opponents for 90 minutes on Friday. What are your feelings in the build-up to the match?
David Alaba: Obviously it's a terrific match. It's great to be facing a strong team like Germany in Munich, and at the Allianz Arena as well. That's really special. We'll be very well prepared for the game, because we want to carry on in World Cup qualifying where we left off in June.
Five Bayern players are in the Germany squad. Has your national coach Marcel Koller already asked you about their strengths and weaknesses?
I'm not going to tell you (laughs). But seriously, Marcel Koller is an experienced coach who knows the Bundesliga very well and always watches it intensively, not least because so many of our national team play in Germany. On top of that, he was a Bundesliga coach for many years, so I don't really have much to tell him.
After a 16-year absence, Austria are determined to compete at the World Cup finals again. Is that just a dream, or is it realistic?
It's a huge target. We're second on 11 points and that's a very good position. It's very tight in the group, as Ireland and Sweden are level on points with us. And we know we have very tough tasks ahead, on Friday in Germany, and then next Tuesday against Ireland in Vienna. It'll be very hard work, but we're heading in the right direction.
What will be the key factors on Friday?
We have a handful of players who are capable of deciding a match due to their individual strengths. And we've come a long way mentally: we're much more confident - even in training, no-one wants to lose. All this makes us stronger than we used to be. Germany are certainly favourites, but the reverse game in Vienna [which ended in a 2–1 victory for Germany] showed we’re capable of causing them problems if we play to our potential.
You missed that match due to a stress fracture. You’re fit this time, so who are you going to swap shirts with afterwards?
I haven't even thought about it. The important thing for me personally is for us to play well and maybe come away with a result. That's what I'm focused on. We'll take everything else after the match as it comes.
You're already experienced, but at 21 you're still one of Austria's youngest players. Who else is coming through the Austrian ranks?
We have plenty of talented youngsters in Austrian youth football. It's the same here at Bayern where we have a couple of Austrians doing very well. I try and pass on the experience I've had while coming through myself. I’m a role model of sorts, especially for younger players in Austria.