“For years you have worked and slaved all day, now it’s time to relax and play. So put your feet up and take a break, you are now retired for goodness sake.”
A World Cup, Two UEFA Euro Championships, Two Champions League, and much more domestic cups. What else you need to have to demonstrate that you had a wonderful football career? Yes, from the heart of the midfield, Xabi Alonso conquered all these honors in his 17 years of magnificent footballing career. Starting his career from a Spanish club Real Sociedad, he became one of the best midfielders of his generation playing for the best clubs all around the Europe: Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich(present). He has had 114 caps from Spanish national team. Playing at the center of the pitch, Alonso established himself as the best deep-lying playmaker in football.
Alonso spent his early career playing for Liverpool and helping them to Champions League glory in his first season scoring an equalizer against Milan in the final. He has a great love for Liverpool side and still reckons himself as a Liverpool fan. He was unlucky to never win a premier league although he won an FA cup. With not much glory and differences with Benitez, Alonso completed his move to Real Madrid from Liverpool for a fee of £30m on 2009. With Barcelona and Messi at their peak, he didn’t achieve much glory with Real Madrid in early years but helped Real Madrid to the Champions League glory in his last season (although he was suspended for the final in Lisbon). He also won a La Liga and two Copa del Rey with Real Madrid. He completed a move to Bayern Munich for an undisclosed fee on 2014. He has won two Bundesliga and a DFB Pokal till the date with Bayern Munich and might win a couple of more trophies on his last year in Munich. He holds the record for most passes in a single game in Bundesliga, 196 against FC Köln.
Alonso competed in seven competitions with his national side winning three of them consecutively. Spanish side with Alonso won Euro 2008, World Cup 2010, and Euro 2012. His last competition with national side was World Cup 2014, and they were eliminated from the group stage in spite of being one of the favorites to win it. Alonso retired from international football soon after that.
And now, after such an illustrious career, he decides to take a break away from football at the end of the season. He is a player who comes once in a generation. His creativity and defensive ability at the center of the pitch made him one of the best. As a football fan, it’s hard to see such an amazing player retire. He will be missed in the footballing world, but he deserves to be in the history book. He will be hailed as one of the best forever. He is a role model and will be a role model to thousands of people.
A complete, consistent, hardworking, and versatile midfielder.
XABI ALONSO! Thank you for the memories, thank you for making this beautiful game even more beautiful.