Alaba 'fascinated' by Beckham, Ronaldo free kicks

The Bayern Munich left back has displayed growing ability from dead ball situations this season and says he is trying to emulate the two famous set piece specialists.
Bayern Munich defender David Alaba says he is fascinated by the free kick abilities of Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham after watching hours of footage on YouTube.

The 21-year-old has scored twice this season from dead ball situations — against CSKA Moscow and Schalke — after perfecting his technique at the end of training sessions.

And the left back explained to Bayern's official website the lengths he has gone to in his bid to become a free kick specialist.

He said: "There are lots of brilliant free kick specialists in the world. But the technique of Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham fascinates me most of all. It’s not that long ago that I played for the academy. I used to spend hours on the laptop watching free kicks on YouTube — again and again. You obviously learn a thing or two."

Bayern boss Pep Guardiola recently describe Alaba as an "outstanding human and an outstanding player," with the Austria international saying the Spaniard has taught him a great deal in a short space of time.

He added: "It's incredible to hear him say that. I’m really happy about that. I’ve learned a huge amount from him over the past few months and I’m taking in everything he tells me. And I think I can speak on behalf of all the players."

The Bavarians are unbeaten in 49 Bundesliga games this season and hold a 24-point lead over third-place Bayer Leverkusen — who they face Saturday.

"They’ve often shown they’re a good side. We can’t afford to think it will be a walk in the park. We need to play to our strengths to win this game. It’s an incredible number (of games unbeaten) but, to be honest, I wasn’t really aware of it. And it’s not an issue in the team. We try to focus on the important thing. Runs like that aren’t a priority."