Real Madrid’s David Alaba came in as a 74th minute substitute for left-back Ferland Mendy against Almeria on Sunday and the match was tied 1-1. Plucky Almería had snatched an early lead against his sleepwalking guests, but by the three-quarters mark, they had remained clinging to dear life for half an hour in succession on increasingly dead looking legs. Rodrigo Elle had just stopped a superb attacking move for Real Madrid by his pollster Luka Modric in a dangerous area: a few meters from the edge of the Almeria square, a few meters to the right of the center, within the shooting range.
And then something great happened: Toni Kroos, one of the world’s greatest set-piece pistols, was put off to left-footed Alaba – usually a central defender, again, literally walking onto the field, after a few hours of not playing football – for the kick. . The ESPN English Playboy was in the middle of noting that this would be Alaba’s first touch to the game when Alaba did it with this touch:
He didn’t even have a chance Being after entering the stadium. Alaba literally just came out during a dead ball, headed into the free-kick zone, and scored what turned out to be the match-winning goal the first time he touched the ball. Look at the hook on this sucker. Look at the speed! I must stress once again that the colleague had not touched the football before that.
Alaba came as a midfielder years ago, before turning to defense; His incredible craftsmanship is part of what makes him so special. So is the left foot of the rocket launcher. And he announced his presence in the Spanish League last season, in a miserable and unforgettable way classicowhen I did this to the Catalans who then broke out in their building:
So perhaps if you had to expect any of the world’s biggest defenders to walk around a game in the 74th minute, after a foul, and immediately kick the match-winning free kick before resuming live play, you might consider it. Choose Alaba. But before you do that, you would have said I expect no defender will do that, come on, don’t be silly now.
That was true for the somewhat less magical occasion – this was Almeria’s first La Liga game since 2015 – and Sunday’s free-kick goal is, to me, just as impressive as the blast from the inside out against Barcelona. Walking straight off the bench in the 74th minute, like I got this To one of the best free kick takers in the world, pinning on a match-winner from your first touch, man… This is a lot like sitting down on a Sunday night, opening my laptop, and writing this blog right away for Monday morning. With no reps blogging the entire weekend before that! Having done nothing but watch TV for several hours before! The kind of person who can do such a thing—David Alaba, meaning, and a few others, and I’m one of them—tells me, my friend, that this kind of person is the real deal.
Are David Alaba and I equally heroic, and just as herculean, because of these identical feats – he fires a perfect free-kick goal in the first game of his first touch after going into the case; I write a blog – unite us and testify equally to our skill and professionalism? Let history be the judge. (History says we are, it just told me.)