An academy product of Real Sociedad, Xabi Alonso is a gifted midfielder.
His range of passes was exquisite, and his vintage shots will forever remain in footballing world’s memories. His footballing skills aren’t just exemplary about him – he is a born leader.
The midfielder was appointed a captain at a tender age of 21, and he succeeded in his role by taking his side to second in his first season as a captain.
Move to Liverpool
Eventually, Real Sociedad became a club below his standards. The Spanish International was hungry for success and set his foot in English football – he was Rafael Benitez’s first signing for Liverpool.
The former Valencia coach told of his signing that his emphasis was “skill over strength”. However, with Xabi Alonso, he got both in abundance.
The Liverpool midfielder formed a formidable midfield partnership with Steven Gerrard. He played in a deeper role compared to the English International, but he didn’t miss any opportunities to score important goals for the Kop.
In fact, it was Alonso’s 60th-minute equaliser that put Liverpool on the course to a remarkable comeback in their Champions League victory over AC Milan in Istanbul. It was Alonso’s first trophy in a glorious career.
He was Liverpool’s engine – he gave other midfielders such as Luis Garcia and Steven Gerrard a platform to excel. Medals continued to enter in his early Liverpool career. He won three major accolades for the Reds in his first two seasons.
However, Liverpool didn’t continue on their trophy march. They fumbled, and for someone like Alonso – winning cups would always be a priority. So, it was difficult to say no when Real Madrid knocked his doors in the summer of 2009. It was his dream move, after all.
Short of success in Real Madrid initially
Things were different with Real Madrid initially. His early Real Madrid career was short of trophies with the club in a transition. Eventually, he became an integral part of one of La Liga’s best teams under Jose Mourinho. The Spaniard also won the Champions League again in 2012-13 under his current manager, Carlo Ancelotti.
Xabi isn’t afraid of new challenges. The midfielder moved to Germany to play under Pep Guardiola, and he continued playing major roles in winning trophies for one of Europe’s biggest clubs again.
With four major titles in Germany, and surely a few more to come this season- the 35-year-old has won all trophies that are to be won in three of Europe’s biggest leagues.
With the national team, he forged an outstanding partnership with Xavi, Iniesta and Sergio Bosquets in one of football’s Golden Generations. He won the World Cup along with two Euro Cups with Spain – something in the wishlist of any footballer.
Xabi Alonso has had an illustrious career and is a serial winner. The midfielder will leave on a high while playing an integral role for a top European club.
The midfielder had an ambience about him wherever he went. There are no doubts – he will surely be remembered as one of the best midfielders in our generation. But most of all, he is the kind of player who will be a part of our tea time talks for years to come.