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Name Xabi Alonso
Gender Male
Ethnic Spanish
Job Spanish Footballer
Desc A key part of the Liverpool team which won the most thrilling Champions League final in history. Helped usher in Rafa Benitez’s Anfield revolution, forming a wonderful midfield partnership with Steven Gerrard before departing after five seasons for Real Madrid

Affiliation

Org Spain National Team
Club as Coach Real Sociedad B
Club as Player Bayern Munich
  Real Madrid
  Liverpool FC
2005 05 25
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso celebrates scoring the equaliser from the re-bounded penalty kick with Milan Baros during the UEFA Champions League Final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul

2011 04 03 Retrieve

[Real Madrid Midfielder Xabi Alonso on his new teammate Mesut Ozil] the kind of player you don’t find these days. He understands the game, sees things, combines and thrives between the lines, unlocking teams

2011 11 27 Retrieve

[former Liverpool man Xabi Alonso on Gary Speed’s death] My first PL game was against him, he showed me in that game what is British football about

2013 08 17 Retrieve

[Xabi Alonso, who helped Liverpool recover a three-goal deficit and beat Carlo Ancelotti’s AC Milan in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final, on his first conversation with his new Real Madrid boss] As I went to shake Ancelotti’s hand the first thing he said to me was, ‘Xabi, you owe me the Champions League trophy!’

2013 11 05 Retrieve

[Xabi Alonso on Paul Scholes] Fans in Spain rate him very highly and I admire him a huge amount. To me Paul [Scholes] is a role model. He is the best midfielder I’ve seen in the last 15 or 20 years

2016 02 13 Retrieve

[on Jose Mourinho] Apart from the knowledge of the game he has, he masters many elements in terms of tactical variations, facing games, and he does that very well. But above all, he talks about teaching yourself when facing matches, preparing psychologically to be able to play any game. When you are at the top level, you are automatically ready to approach any game accordingly. He has said that since he came here (Real Madrid), and it is something that has stayed with me, because it is very important at this level of football. Every game is practically an obligation for us to win

2016 08 05 Retrieve

[Xabi Alonso reflects on his time with the Spain national team] I think winning the first Euro was the key. It gave all of us self-belief, self-esteem. The confidence that we had from that moment led us to win the World Cup and the Euro again. Looking back four years later, that’s impressive what we achieved. To win two, three times in a row is unbelievable

2017 03 09 Tweet

[Xabi Alonso confirms he will retire at the end of the season] Lived it. Loved it. Farewell beautiful game

2017 09 30 Retrieve

[Xabi Alonso shares about the next step in his career] After 17 years in the game, I have considered the next step in my career. I have decided to go into management

2019 08 23 Retrieve

[When asked if he could see himself back on Merseyside at some stage] Well at the moment they have an absolutely fantastic manager and we all as Liverpool fans are thrilled with Jurgen Klopp, with what he’s doing. You could feel he was the man because of the way he embraced the Liverpool culture, the way he connected with the fans - you could see that he could make a great job. Even the best expectations he has fulfilled. He’s the man at the moment. Watching the team lifting the Champions League and watching the fans enjoy it as much as we did in 2005, it brought back a lot of memories. We [some of the 2005 team] were in the stadium, old team-mates gathering together again, Stevie Gerrard, Jerzy Dudek, Sami Hyypia, we were together celebrating what they have achieved this year. It was really emotional. You know how special Liverpool is, ‘once a red always a red’ - and that’s not a slogan, that’s not a logo, it’s real and we share that belonging. Our generation that have been playing in the Champions League for many years, we’re almost taking a step back and taking steps into management. It’s part of the cycle of football but for me it’s great to follow Stevie, to follow Mikel Arteta, to follow Frank Lampard - what he’s doing and so many young managers that are already there

I support Mikel Arteta and Pep Guardiola a lot but my feelings are not shared at the moment. I am a Liverpool fan. Last season it was phenomenal, the race that both teams had. What City did, what Liverpool did, it’s going to be tough to repeat but they have the project that is stable, they know what they want but the Premier League is tough. It’s still early days, but why not? Jordan Henderson has become a figure in the changing room. I think he’s so respected, so important for his team-mates - that’s the sense I get from watching in the stands. For the way they play it’s very important, the energy he has. He’s able to take that step forwards, not backwards to make that pressure a bit higher. The way he connects with the three players up front, they play very direct and the way Liverpool is playing is the Jurgen way - the way they played at Dortmund with him and the way they play at Liverpool now

2019 11 16 Retrieve

[Xabi Alonso has revealed he left Real Madrid for Bayern Munich because he was curious to find out Pep Guardiola’s coaching secrets] I was so curious to find out [Guardiola’s] secrets. He has a relentless natural enthusiasm. Football seasons are long but right until the very end, Pep never seemed to be tired. He was alert, always ready. For the players, maybe this gave us an extra few metres in our legs when it mattered most

[The former Spain international, who played against Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund side during his time at Madrid and Bayern] I didn’t enjoy playing against them because they made it so intense, you’d almost break. It was like he wanted you to be in a cage. He wanted to trap you. There was an organised pressure. I was under pressure all the time. I enjoyed the mood around those games because they were so important but the challenge of beating Dortmund was immense

2019 11 29 Retrieve

[Xabi Alonso on managerial ambitions: You get that itch and then you say ‘F, I like this!’]</b> At first you don’t know how it’s going to be. But then I got caught up in the match. It’s like an itch and then you say: ‘F, I like this!. You see that day after day, with the repletion, the explanation, the corrections, everything you tell them, they begin to understand little by little. That’s it, being a coach

Once I retired, I really that I would take the step into dugout and I believed the words of Johan Cruyff: ‘The most beautiful thing is to play football, the second best thing is to coach.’

Do I have a trademark? No. What’s important is what my players feel, that’s what I tell them. If I feel something but my players don’t, my ideas are useless, I have to change and be at their service. Having experienced different leagues, it allows me to adapt quickly. So my team is in the Segunda B but I easily immersed myself in it. If, in the future, I have to go elsewhere, I can adapt quickly, but I’m not in a hurry

What I want is to be able to choose where I coach. And I like to coach here. I want to take steps naturally and not force them. These first steps in San Sebastian, my home, where I started my playing career, it makes sense for me

[He has revealed the man he sees as the ideal coach] He has to be both a connoisseur of the game and an expert in management. Who has both today? Jurgen Klopp. And I don’t just say that because I played for Liverpool! He has charisma. You see his relationship with his players at the end of matches. The strong emotional connection he has with his players also comes from the link he has created with the club. Having this is gold for a coach. Pep Guardiola also knows how to do that, like Rafa Benitez and others. Jose Mourinho has impressed me by his ability to read matches and his ability to react when the course of the game requires it.

2019 11 30 Retrieve

[Xabi Alonso tells about how he is enjoying his new life on the sidelines with Real Sociedad B] At first you don’t know how it’s going to be. But then I got caught up in the match. It’s like an itch and then you say: ‘I like this!’ You see that day after day, with the repletion, the explanation, the corrections, everything you tell them, they begin to understand little by little. That’s it, being a coach

2019 12 17 Retrieve

[Xabi Alonso has ruled himself out of the running to be the next Bayern Munich head coach because he does not have enough experience] I am where I want to be and right now where I want to be is in San Sebastian with Real Sociedad. I am a beginner in this life of being a coach and I have no goals beyond being here. I hope I can be a better coach, here at Real Sociedad, make a career every year that I want and I’m at ease. Whatever has to happen, will happen. The clubs I’ve been to sign the best coaches in the world and I’m still starting

[He could neither pick a winner in Wednesday’s El Clasico between his old club and Barcelona] It’s a hard-fought race, but it’s very open and there isn’t a clear favourite. There is seldom a favourite when the teams face each other on the pitch and there isn’t here either. I see them fairly even, I don’t see either squad having anything superior to the other. Madrid have improved a lot. They had a difficult time but got through it, and right now they feel very powerful, like they can win anywhere

2019 12 17b Retrieve

[Xabi Alonso bats off Bayern Munich talk but refuses to rule out step up the coaching ladder] I am where I want to be right now. I’m just starting out in my coaching career and I have no goals beyond San Sebastian. The rest is just people talking. I hope I can become a better coach, here at La Real, and enjoy every single year of my career. Whatever happens, will happen, these clubs can sign the best coaches in the world and I’m just starting

I think the two clubs that will be battling for the title are Real Madrid and Barcelona. It’s going to be a hard-fought race, but it’s very open and there isn’t a clear favourite. There is seldom a favourite when the teams face each other on the pitch and there isn’t here either. I see them fairly even, I don’t see either squad having anything superior to the other, although Madrid have improved a lot. They had a difficult time but got through it, and right now they feel very powerful, like they can win anywhere

[Zinedine Zidane face some uncomfortable questions earlier in the season amid struggles for consistency. Quizzed on whether the criticism surprised him] At Real Madrid there is always noise, but within the walls of the club there was tranquillity. Zidane is a well-chosen coach and after important games you can’t make rash decisions