Bayern Munich players
David Alaba (C) made a name for himself with Bayern Munich before making the move to join Real Madrid. AFP / Glyn KIRK

Real Madrid CF and FC Bayern Munich may be fierce rivals on the pitch, but it is a well-known fact that there is massive mutual respect between the two clubs. That friendly relationship was highlighted recently due to the injury sustained by Austrian defender David Alaba.

Over the weekend, Alaba unfortunately sustained an ACL injury while playing in Real Madrid's La Liga clash against Villarreal CF. He has been ruled out for several months, and will likely be unavailable for the rest of the 2023-24 campaign.

An ACL injury is devastating for any athlete, particularly because of the long recovery period. The Spanish giants confirmed in a statement that the player required immediate surgery, and this is where Bayern Munich stepped in.

In an interview on "Servus TV's Hangar 7", Bayern Munich's honorary president, Uli Hoeness said about Alaba: "I tried to reach him today, but unfortunately, I wasn't able to. We at FC Bayern have ensured that he will be operated on in Innsbruck by a doctor in whom we have big trust."

Of course, it may be remembered that Alaba played for the Bundesliga champions for over a decade until 2021. He then made the move to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, but is clearly still regarded by the Bavarians as one of their own.

Hoeness suggested that Bayern have ensured that Alaba will receive the best medical care for his injury, but he also said that he was not able to personally speak with the player before going public with the news. He also did not clarify if Real Madrid had agreed to this plan. Naturally, the Spanish giants would want to make the decision when it comes to the treatment of their players.

According to Managing Madrid, German site Kleine Zeitung has named famous surgeon Christian Fink as the man being referred to by the Bayern Munich executive. Fink is an Austrian, with a practice based in Innsbruck, and is renowned for his high success rate in performing ACL surgeries on top athletes.

Apparently, Bayern Munich has a long relationship with Fink, and he is their go-to doctor whenever one of their players unfortunately needs knee surgery. He has reportedly performed successful ACL surgeries on the likes of Manuel Neuer and Leroy Sane.

It would have been a big collaboration between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich if the offer was accepted. However, the 14-time European Champions have confirmed that such was not the case. In fact, they announced on Tuesday that the surgery has been done and that the player is already on the road to recovery.

The official statement read: "Our player David Alaba has been successfully operated today on a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee under the supervision of the Real Madrid Medical Services. Alaba will begin his recovery process in the next few days."

Needless to say, Los Blancos did not waste a single moment and immediately proceeded with the surgery. They did not specify where the procedure was done, but it will likely be in Madrid and not in Austria.

Real Madrid temporarily gained the top spot on the table over the weekend after their 4-1 victory against Villarreal. However, they were demoted back to second place after Girona beat Alaves 3-0 on Monday.

Now, the club will be focusing on their final La Liga match of the year against Alaves on Thursday. The leaders meanwhile, will be facing Real Betis on the same night. Girona will be hoping to claim all three points so that they can end the year at the top of the table.

It is a tight battle at the top, and Real Madrid is shattered to have lost yet another player to a long-term injury. Both Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao also suffered ACL injuries earlier in the season.