New Real Madrid signing Alaba tests positive for COVID-19

By Sports Desk July 28, 2021

Real Madrid have confirmed new signing David Alaba has tested positive for coronavirus.

Alaba, who played in all of Austria's Euro 2020 matches, agreed to join Madrid following the expiration of his contract with Bayern Munich, where he had spent his entire career, winning 27 trophies.

The 29-year-old – who has taken Madrid's number four shirt vacated by Sergio Ramos – was officially unveiled at the Santiago Bernabeu on July 21.

However, his pre-season preparations have been hit by a positive COVID-19 test.

Madrid revealed the news in a brief statement on their official website. They did not clarify whether Alaba was asymptomatic. 

Alaba, who has signed a five-year deal with Los Blancos, is the second Madrid player to test positive in as many weeks, after Karim Benzema also contracted the virus.

With Madrid having agreed to sell Raphael Varane to Manchester United, Alaba is set to lead a new-look defence this season.

Carlo Ancelotti's team were beaten 2-1 by Rangers in a pre-season friendly on Sunday – Alaba did not feature, but has been training with the squad.

Related items

  • Bayern Munich 4-0 Hoffenheim: Lewandowski stunner helps keep Bavarians top Bayern Munich 4-0 Hoffenheim: Lewandowski stunner helps keep Bavarians top

    Robert Lewandowski scored a stunning goal and Serge Gnabry also got on the scoresheet against his former club as Bayern Munich beat Hoffenheim 4-0 on Sunday.

    Julian Nagelsmann's side were threatening from the off and Gnabry lashed in from an acute angle after making a good run into space in the box, but free-scoring striker Lewandowski stole the show, bending a powerful effort high into the net from long range to leave Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann with no chance.

    Substitutes Eric Choupo-Moting and Kingsley Coman made the scoreline comfortable late on as the visitors succumbed to Bayern's relentless pressure.

    The result keeps Bayern top of the Bundesliga, one point ahead of title rivals Borussia Dortmund with nine games played.

    Lewandowski and Gnabry both came close to opening the scoring inside the first eight minutes, with the former dinking just wide from seven yards and the latter finding the net but seeing it disallowed following a VAR check due to a foul from Jamal Musiala in the build-up.

    Not to be denied, Gnabry rifled a low shot into the bottom-left corner from a tight angle on the right in the 16th minute after being found by Musiala and Lewandowski unleashed a ferocious strike into the top-right corner from outside the box on the half-hour mark after good work from Thomas Muller. 

    Bayern had several more good chances at 2-0 up, but did not find the net again until Andrej Kramaric's poor clearance ricocheted off the back of Dayot Upamecano and into the path of substitute Choupo-Moting, who slotted home in the 82nd minute.

    Fellow Bayern substitute Coman added further gloss to the scoreline five minutes later, racing onto a long ball in behind and lashing emphatically past Baumann to make it 4-0.

  • If you're not afraid, you face the lion thinking it's a cat – Ancelotti says pre-Clasico nerves can be a good thing If you're not afraid, you face the lion thinking it's a cat – Ancelotti says pre-Clasico nerves can be a good thing

    Carlo Ancelotti has urged his Real Madrid players to use any pre-Clasico nerves to their advantage when they take on Barcelona at Camp Nou on Sunday.

    Madrid face Barca in a key early season showdown in LaLiga, with the visitors two points better off than their fierce rivals heading into the much-anticipated game.

    Los Blancos thrashed Shakhtar Donetsk 5-0 in the Champions League in midweek, but they have taken just one point from the last six on offer in LaLiga.

    After suffering a shock 1-0 loss to Espanyol three weeks ago, Madrid risk suffering back-to-back league defeats for the first time since the final two games of the 2018-19 season.

    Ancelotti has experience of facing Barcelona as Madrid boss from his first stint in charge and is fully aware of the magnitude of the contest.

    "Worrying is a normal emotion. Sometimes even fear – they are positive feelings," he said at Saturday's pre-match news conference.

    "If you are not afraid, you face the lion thinking that it is a cat. I have a strong team, a team with real quality.

    "Fear is not a bad feeling. Fortunately, I am never scared because I think there are worse things in life than to lose a game."

     

    Ancelotti was responding to comments made by opposite number Ronald Koeman earlier on Saturday when insisting Barca's players do not fear Madrid.

    Madrid have won their last three games against Barcelona in all competitions and are looking to win four in a row for the first time since a run of seven in 1965.

    The Catalans may no longer have record all-time goalscorer Lionel Messi in their ranks, but Ancelotti does not doubt the quality of the opposition.

    "I don't like evaluating the squads of others," the Italian said. "But they have maintained that identity of playing good football. There's no Messi, but their youngsters are fantastic.

    "It is tough to say who arrives in this game in better shape because Barca have played good games lately. In this type of match, there can be no favourite."

    This will be the first season since 2004-05 that neither Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo will make a Clasico appearance, with many suggesting the fixture has lost some of its lustre.

    But Ancelotti, who has not won any of his five away managerial games against Barcelona in all competitions, does not see it that way.

    "This is a special match for those who experience it," he said. "The feelings are the same as when Cristiano and Messi were involved.

    "You don't have to look at the individuals. You have to look at the teams because there will always be Barca-Madrid before those and after those who are here now."

     

    Having lost both previous games at Camp Nou as Madrid boss, Ancelotti could become just the second Los Blancos chief to lose his first three away El Clasicos after Leo Beenhakker, who suffered four defeats in a row between 1987 and 1988.

    "I have never won at Camp Nou and now is the time to do it," Ancelotti said when that fact was put to him. "That said, it is never easy.

    "There are three points on the line and if we want to win the league then we have to target them."

  • Clubs need money, national teams need money – Simeone speaks out on biennial World Cup Clubs need money, national teams need money – Simeone speaks out on biennial World Cup

    Diego Simeone claims players and coaches are powerless as FIFA chiefs push for the World Cup to take place every two years.

    The Atletico Madrid head coach spoke on the matter on Saturday, a day ahead of his team's clash with early LaLiga leaders Real Sociedad.

    Simeone, who played at three World Cups for Argentina, says the power-brokers in the modern game are not those who are directly involved in games, but those with balance sheets as the priority.

    "As much as one may comment on the proposed situation, the final decision is not for the players or the coaches," he said.

    "I put myself in the position of a player of mine; I would always go to play with my national team, it is difficult to say 'no' to him.

    "People who have to make decisions manage badly in the eyes of the players, they are getting worse and worse. But I am not going to put myself in something that cannot be changed.

    "We can complain, express anger, protest, but television rules, money rules, clubs grow, clubs need money, national teams need money.

    "We are in the middle, we can protest, complain, but life is like that for everyone."

    FIFA head of global development Arsene Wenger is leading the push for more World Cups in both the men's and women's games, but there has been major pushback from UEFA and CONMEBOL, the European and South American confederations, plus players' union umbrella group FIFPRO.

    A number of coaches and players, on an individual basis, have also criticised the plans.

    Simeone can see why switching the World Cup from a tournament that takes place every four years could hold appeal, purely on the premise it represents the peak of a player's career.

    "As a player I would have liked to play a World Cup every year. That's normal," he added. "As a coach we obviously prefer to have the players."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.