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Rediff.com  » Sports » Xabi Alonso: A versatile midfielder who won all there was to win

Xabi Alonso: A versatile midfielder who won all there was to win

March 09, 2017 17:11 IST

'I never thought I would have such a great career and I hope there are still some more things to be added to those'

Xabi Alonso is known for his passing game, vision and powerful shot as much as for his work ethic

IMAGE: Xabi Alonso is known for his passing game, vision and powerful shot as much as for his work ethic. Photograph: FC Bayern via Getty Images

Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso announced on Thursday he would retire at the end of the season, putting an end to a long and trophy-laden career that includes every major title for club and country.

The Spaniard started his career at Basque club Real Sociedad before moving to Liverpool.

At Liverpool, the club he moved to in 2004, he established himself as a crowd favourite after scoring a 3-3 equaliser against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final.

Liverpool had battled back from 3-0 down and eventually won on penalties in one of the most spectacular comebacks in top-level football.

Alonso earned even more trophies at Real following a 2009 move, including another Champions League title to add to the Spanish League crown and two Spanish Cups.

Known for his passing game, vision and powerful shot as much as for his work ethic, Alonso became one of the most versatile midfielders of his generation, also winning the World Cup and two European Championships with the Spanish national side.

"I really lived it all. At Real Sociedad, Liverpool, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich," said Alonso, who joined the German champions in 2014 and has added two Bundesliga titles and a German Cup to his collection.

"Then there is also the national team. I never thought I would have such a great career and I hope there are still some more things to be added to those."

Bundesliga leaders Bayern are chasing a treble of titles after advancing into the Champions League quarter-finals this week with a 10-2 aggregate demolition of Arsenal.

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