A little later, but still! David Alaba arrived in Bad Tatzmannsdorf this Wednesday afternoon. The Real star won the Champions League with the Royals in Paris on Saturday after beating Liverpool 1-0. Now the Viennese has arrived at the ÖFB camp. In Bad Tatzmannsdorf, the Austrian national soccer team is preparing for the upcoming tasks in the Nations League.
The first international match of the Ralf Rangnick era is already on Friday in Osijek against Croatia. Since the unit was canceled on Wednesday afternoon, the newly crowned Champions League winner will only do one training session with the ÖFB selection before the Nations League match on Friday in Osijek against Croatia, that on Thursday morning. Whether or how long Alaba will be used against Croatia is open.
With 60 international matches, Marcel Sabitzer is one of the most experienced players in the national team. The Bayern legionnaire therefore emphasized his leadership role in the run-up to the Nations League duels. “It’s clear that I’m a leader, no matter under which coach. That’s my claim, too,” said Sabitzer in Bad Tatzmannsdorf on Wednesday. The Styrian also emphasizes: “Our obligation is that David (Alaba), Marko (Arnautovic) and I are anchors where the youngsters can hold on. It’s important that players take responsibility and stand up when things don’t go well.” Sabitzer emphasized that he had often demonstrated his leadership qualities. “I excel at leading, coaching, helping others and also being emotional, for example towards the referee to make a mark.”
Sabitzer knows the new team boss Ralf Rangnick from his time at RB Leipzig: “Knowing him is definitely an advantage for me. We’re happy he’s here and we want to be successful with him.” The three days of training so far have been well used. “It was fun. The trainer clearly communicates what he wants and sets clear rules. That should also be reflected on the lawn,” reported Sabitzer.
Marko Arnautovic left his future in the team open after the bitter end in the World Cup playoff against Wales in March. The Bologna legionnaire even speculated that he would resign. However, these thoughts have vanished. The Viennese announced on Wednesday that he was looking forward to the upcoming tasks under neo-team boss Ralf Rangnick and would be full of vigour ÖFB-Camp in Bad Tatzmannsdorf. Together with the family, Arnautovic has made the decision that he will continue. “Let’s see how long,” said Arnautovic.
In any case, there are no problems with the physique: “I can still perform and I’m far from the limit with my body.” His drive is the urge to be successful with the national team. “I still have the appeal to do it. Now it’s a new era with a new coach, the philosophy sounds good.” Rangnick’s statement at his inaugural press conference that Arnautovic had to hurry to celebrate great success with the selection was acknowledged ÖFB-Star with a shrug. “Then let’s hurry.”
In any case, the record against Croatia is anything but pleasant. In five duels stand for that ÖFB-Team had five defeats before the debut of the new head coach Ralf Rangnick on Friday (8.45 p.m.) at the start of the Nations League in Osijek. Now it is time for this balance sheet to change.