Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso announced his retirement this week – much to a surprise of the whole footballing world.
However, the Spanish International has put a mark on the game with trophies across three countries.
The midfielder started his career at Real Sociedad and captained the La Liga club. He also succeeded as Sociedad captain – as he finished second in his first year as a captain for the club.
Success continued to welcome him winning the Champions League for Liverpool. His move to Real Madrid was even more fruitful. The former Reds star won his first career league title along with another Champions League medal.
Along with his club accolades, the former Sociedad captain was a part of a golden generation for Spain. He won two Euro Cups and a World Cup with the European nation as they dominated football for five long years.
Now, eyes on Xabi Alonso as a manager
The World Cup winner eventually accepted new challenges with Bayern Munich in Germany. He joined his hands with manager Pep Guardiola as the duo won two league titles together.
Pep, who hailed the player as one of the best midfielders of this generation, surely has high ratings of the player. His knowledge in the field and anticipation has helped him forge an excellent career.
Guardiola, who played as a midfielder himself, believes these qualities will help Xabi become a successful manager.
“We were rivals, big rivals when he was at Real Madrid, and after I was so lucky to have him in Munich,” the manager said to ESPN ahead of City’s clash with Middlesbrough in an FA Cup quarterfinal.
The manager then continued to say: “He will come back soon as a manager. I bet, wherever he wants, he will become a manager and will be good.
“How the people speak about him — all the managers that he had in his career — is a human being. One of the best midfielders I’ve ever seen in my life.
“He understands the game and has the curiosity to learn the game and knew during the weeks what we would have to do to win the next games, to beat them. He already had the curiosity to know.
“I love to work with these kinds of people. That happens with the midfield players — in Barcelona, with Javier Mascherano, Sergio Busquets, here with David Silva and Fernandinho.
“They are involved in what you are doing and why you are doing it. It’s marvellous as a manager to have these kinds of players.”