Sabitzer: The story so far for United's first Austrian

Wednesday 01 February 2023 15:00

Marcel Sabitzer - the first Austrian player to join Manchester United - has built up a wealth of experience in his 13 years in senior football, having made over 400 appearances for club and country.

The midfielder spent his first four years in senior football at home in Austria but has starred in Germany's Bundesliga since 2015, initially as one of the key players in RB Leipzig’s incredible rise and more recently with Bayern Munich.

Named Austria’s footballer of the year in 2017, he has played for his country 68 times, scoring 12 goals.

For more depth on our third January loan signing after goalkeeper Jack Butland and striker Wout Weghorst, read on...


Sabitzer started his senior career at Admira Wacker, making his debut at the age of 17. He played 52 games for the Austrian Bundesliga club, scoring 10 goals.

The midfielder moved to Rapid Vienna in January 2013, making 57 appearances for the side from the capital, netting another 12 strikes.

This form caught the eye of the Red Bull sporting organisation and he was signed by German club RB Leipzig on a four–year deal in May 2014. Loaned to RB Salzburg, he enjoyed a successful season there, winning the Austrian league and cup double.


Marcel made his debut for RB Leipzig in August 2015 and helped the second-tier club to secure promotion to the top flight in his first season at the club. In his second campaign there, he played 32 times in the Bundesliga as his side shocked German football by finishing as runners-up, with Sabitzer scoring eight league goals and adding four assists. In the following season, when he played primarily on the right wing, he made 34 appearances, including 10 in Europe.

The Austrian alternated between the right wing and a more central attacking midfielder role in 2018/19, playing 43 games across all competitions and scoring five goals with six assists. But 2019/20 was arguably his best season and he got off to a flyer by contributing to all four goals in Leipzig’s season-opening 4-0 win over Hertha Berlin, scoring once and assisting the other three.
Sabitzer was named RB Leipzig captain in 2020/21 and by this point had made a permanent move to central midfield. Despite his deeper role he still ended the season as Leipzig’s top scorer, while also making 200 tackles. His side had another good campaign, finishing as runners-up in the Bundesliga and German Cup.

He was reunited with former manager Julian Nagelsman when he signed for Bayern Munich in the summer of 2021. He made 25 Bundesliga appearances in his debut season with the Bavarian club, scoring one goal. This term, he has featured in 24 games across all competitions.

Marcel Sabitzer poses with Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn (left) and sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic after signing for the Bavarian club.

As well as making hundreds of appearances in the Austrian and German Bundesligas, Sabitzer is also hugely experienced in European football, playing over 70 games across the Champions League and Europa League. His eight goals and 11 assists in those competitions include the brace he netted against Tottenham Hotspur in RB Leipzig's 3-0 home win in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League.

Sabitzer made nine appearances in Leipzig’s run to the semi-finals in that UCL campaign, scoring four goals and making three assists. By this point he was alternating between the right wing, central midfield and an attacking midfield role.  

Marcel has faced United twice in his career, for Leipzig in the 2020/21 Champions League group stage. His side lost 5-0 at Old Trafford but crucially won 3-2 in Germany, where he assisted Angelina's second-minute opener. The midfielder was booked in both games.

His cousin, Thomas Sabitzer, played against LASK Linz at Old Trafford in the 2019/20 Europa League.
Sabitzer's highlights against United in 2020 Video

Sabitzer's highlights against United in 2020

When Leipzig beat United, Marcel assisted one goal, inspired the second & was involved in another disallowed effort...


Sabitzer has earned 68 caps for Austria, scoring 12 goals. He made his international debut at the age of 18, in a home game against Romania in June 2012.

He has appeared in two major international tournaments - Euro 2016, when he played in all three of Austria's group games, and Euro 2020. In the latter competition, he helped his side to reach the last 16 and take the eventual champions Italy to extra-time at Wembley. Deployed in the no.10 role behind former West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic, the midfielder was on the pitch for the full 120 minutes of the narrow 2-1 defeat.

Marcel, who has captained his country twice, made his most recent international appearance in November when they beat Italy 2-0 in a friendly.

His father Herfried, a striker, also played for Austria.

United fans look forward to Sabitzer's debut


Get the official update on Marcel following his loan signing from Bayern Munich on deadline day.


Admira Wacker: 52 games / 10 goals / 8 assists
Rapid Vienna: 57 games / 12 goals / 8 assists 
RB Salzburg (loan): 51 games / 27 goals / 21 assists
RB Leipzig: 229 games / 52 goals / 42 assists 
Bayern Munich: 54 games / 2 goals / 2 assists

Stats sourced from

United's January signings: