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Rangnick continues to hope for Alaba: “A close race”

Rangnick continues to hope for Alaba: “A close race”

Austria national football team coach Ralf Rangnick has not yet given up hope that his captain, David Alaba, will play in the European Championship. The German confirmed this on Monday before the friendly match against Türkiye in Vienna.

Alaba is currently with the team despite his rehabilitation program after suffering a cruciate ligament tear. Before the match against the Turks, he will receive his tenth title as “Austrian Footballer of the Year” at the Ernst Happel Stadium on Tuesday.

“Of course we still hope.”

However, it is highly doubtful whether the Vienna team will be ready before the start of the European Championship against France on June 17. “It will definitely be a close race,” Rangnick said. He added, “Of course, we still hope that this will be enough. But we also have to be realistic and know in our minds what we will do if that is not enough.”

Alaba suffered a serious knee injury on December 17 during a league match with Real Madrid. Six months of rehabilitation period is the absolute minimum for a cruciate ligament tear.

“Hope dies last,” Rangnick stressed. “I think we'll be able to say more in early or mid-May, within six or seven weeks.”

The main team arrives in mid-May

Shortly after Pentecost – perhaps on May 21 – the team president will announce his starting lineup for the German Championship. Immediate preparation for the European Championship begins on May 29 in Vindisgarsten. There are two more test matches on the program on June 4 in Vienna against Serbia and on June 8 in St. Gallen against Switzerland.

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Alaba will watch the third-to-last European Championship test against the Turks on Tuesday (8.45pm/Live Tape >>>) at the stadium. He will receive the “Best Footballer of the Year 2023” award from APA Sports Director Birgitte Igerter before kick-off. Alaba won the election among Bundesliga coaches for the fourth time in a row. With a total of ten titles, the 31-year-old is the dominant record winner.