- Alaba enjoying Bayern's pre-season tour of the USA.
- Ancelotti impresses the Austria all-rounder.
- Wishes Götze the best after his return to Dortmund.
Currently on tour with FC Bayern München in the USA, David Alaba sat down with bundesliga.com to discuss his favourite things about the States, how new coach Carlo Ancelotti is adapting to life at the champions, the departure of his close friend Mario Götze and the Bavarians' lofty aims for the new season.
bundesliga.com: David Alaba, you've been in the USA since Monday with FC Bayern…
David Alaba: …and we've all been looking forward to it! We're playing in Chicago, Charlotte and New York against teams like AC Milan, Inter Milan and Real Madrid. It's a real challenge for us, but our legions of fans in the US are really happy, and we're also here as ambassadors for the Bundesliga.
bundesliga.com: You yourself often visit the USA. What do you like particularly about the country?
Alaba: The people, the country – I've been here a lot on holiday and have always felt very comfortable.
bundesliga.com: Do you ever find such trips during pre-season a burden, or something that makes preparation for the new season even harder?
Alaba: Last year we were in China, a long trip that was a new and special experience for us as a team. But as a team we really benefited from that and grew much closer together. Personally, I'm a big fan of such team trips; I like it when everyone's pulling together because that brings you closer.
bundesliga.com: Under Pep Guardiola you won the title three years running and reached the UEFA Champions League semi-finals three years running. Now Carlo Ancelotti is in charge: how have the first few days been with another world-renowned coach?
Alaba: They've been really good, very pleasant in fact. You notice his previous experience with the big teams; it's been going really well.
bundesliga.com: Are there differences to Guardiola's way of working?
Alaba: Yes, of course there are differences; in training alone you do different exercises. Every coach of that quality has their own way of doing things.
bundesliga.com: How difficult was it to unwind properly after what was a pretty disappointing UEFA EURO 2016 for Austria in France?
Alaba: It wasn't easy to play in a tournament like that after such a long season. For me it was my first time and so it was a completely new experience. I hope, though, that more experiences like that will follow suit.
Watch: Bayern head stateside for 2016 summer tour
bundesliga.com: So the aim now is to focus fully on what's to come?
Alaba: I spent three weeks at home in Vienna with my family and meeting friends. That did me a lot of good and allowed me to start looking ahead again. As a club we have really lofty aims with the new coach, and that's what we're focussing on.
bundesliga.com: So with Carlo Ancelotti and David Alaba, FC Bayern are even more motivated than usual?
Alaba: This club and the players that play for it are always motivated. We want to win as many trophies as possible – that's what's expected of us. As for Carlo Ancelotti: we don't need to speak much about him, just look at his CV.
bundesliga.com: Let's talk about Borussia Dortmund, a club currently going through a lot of personnel changes. Do you think that BVB will remain one of your closest challengers?
Alaba: Yes, I'm convinced of that. Over the last few years, Dortmund have always managed to put a very good team together. That will definitely be the case again this season. We're going to have to give it our all again so that we can be top come the end of the campaign.
bundesliga.com: Mario Götze is going back to BVB after three years at Bayern; is it fair to say that he was one of your closest friends at Bayern?
Alaba: We've known each other for a very long time, ever since we played against each other in youth teams. We got on very well off the pitch at Bayern.
bundesliga.com: Plenty of people were under the impression that he struggled at Bayern…
Alaba: I don't think that's correct. He played a lot of very good games and was a very important part of the team. Unfortunately he had to battle a lot of injuries, which didn’t make things easy for him. Mario Götze is a fantastic footballer and I'm crossing my fingers that it goes well for him in Dortmund.
Watch: enjoy an exclusive video tour of the Allianz Arena
bundesliga.com: You were speaking about Carlo Ancelotti just before. Could you give us one way in which he is different to Pep Guardiola?
Alaba: As I said before, every coach has his own way of doing things. Perhaps you could say that Ancelotti is the type of coach who speaks a lot with his players. But he hasn't really been here for very long, and a lot of players are still on holiday after the Euros. We haven't had the full squad together yet. Every day someone is arriving back, and soon we'll be able to give it our all with everyone present and correct.
bundesliga.com: Just like some other big-name players, you recently extended your contract at Bayern – until 2020. There were always rumours of interest from other big European clubs. How difficult was it to turn them down?
Alaba: I'm playing at FC Bayern, one of the best clubs in the world. It was never a question of either extending or leaving. I've been at FC Bayern since 2008, I've grown up here and feel very comfortable here. Describing it as "difficult" is the wrong choice of word.
bundesliga.com: There have been a lot of reports recently about Carlo Ancelotti's left eyebrow. Apparently when he lifts it, the person he's in conversation with should be worried…
Alaba: I've heard that too, although I can't confirm it! I think he might already have explained that it's not actually reason to worry. We've got a really good feeling about him and – as I said before – some really lofty aims.