David Alaba admits to supporting Arsenal as a youngster, names Patrick Vieira as his hero

Bayern Munich's David Alaba in action

The Bayern Munich star grew up watching the Invincibles Gunners side.

Bayern Munich's David Alaba in action

Bayern Munich star David Alaba has told France Football, via the London Evening Standard, that grew up supporting the Arsenal team who "dominated everything" around a decade ago.

Alaba has developed into an important player for Bayern over the last few seasons and has now established himself as a regular utility player for the German giants, being adept in both defence and midfield.

The Austrian international is not likely to be on the move any time soon after signing a new long-term deal at the Allianz Arena in March, but has nevertheless been linked with a host of other top European clubs.

However, the 23-year-old has admitted that one team he used to be an avid follower of as a teenager was Arsene Wenger's successful Arsenal side of the 2000s.

Austrian national soccer player David Alaba kicks the ball during their training session ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifying match

The Gunners won five major trophies in four years at the start of last decade, including the domestic double in 2001-02 and the famous unbeaten 'Invincibles' title triumph two seasons later.

Alaba, who is often utilised in defensive midfield, revealed that he was a big fan of that Arsenal side, and held particular admiration for their captain and midfield powerhouse Patrick Vieira.

When asked by France Football about his childhood hero, Alaba replied, as quoted by the Standard: "In the first place, Patrick Vieira. What a player! "He inspired me through his presence, his style of play, his strong personality.

Manchester City U21 manager Patrick Vieira

"I was a fan of Arsenal, who dominated everything around 10 years ago. I only had eyes for Vieira. Our styles don't resemble each other particularly but in this position he's an example, notably in his way of imposing himself in duels."

Arsenal fans probably shouldn't read too much into that statement, though; Alaba's new deal keeps him contracted at Bayern until 2012, and as he becomes a more prominent player at the club a move away looks less and less likely.

Perhaps, though, if the Gunners were to bring current New York City head coach Vieira back in the future, Alaba could be persuaded to unite with his childhood hero.

David Alaba celebrates after scoring the third goal for Bayern Munich

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