Xabi Alonso will always be regarded as one of the most talented and gifted midfielders, who rose up to the glory with his immense passion and dedication.
May 31, 2020, 4:57 p.m.
Unlike other geniuses of the sport, Xabi Alonso was not an artist, he was a Chessmaster.
Xabi Alonso is widely regarded as one of the last Great Deep-Lying Playmakers who played at clubs like Real Sociedad, Liverpool, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich. He is the 8th most capped player in Spain’s national team’s history with 114 appearances.
Xabi grew up watching his father, Periko Alonso, who played and excelled in La Liga as a Defensive Midfielder. He grew more and more interested in Playmaking and dreamed of becoming a Defensive midfielder.
Debuting as a playmaking Midfielder with Sociedad, he was a crucial part of their successful 2002/03 La Liga campaign. He led the team to a League Cup as a young captain. Later, he joined English Giants Liverpool F.C. in 2004 for a fee of £10.7 million.
He is often considered as one of the calmest players ever, as he scored the crucial penalty for Liverpool in their miraculous comeback from a 3-0 Deficit against A.C. Milan in the 2005 Champions League final. His composed play was also put on display against Luton Town, wherein he scored two magnificent long-range goals in a comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the third round of FA cup.
Xabi joined Spanish club, Real Madrid C.F, in August 2009, as a deep defensive midfielder. Although he didn’t score much for Real Madrid, he was a crucial part of their midfield along with Ricardo Kaka and Mesut Ozil. He went on to win a league title, two league cups, a Supercopa Espana and ended his career with the Blancos by winning the famous “La Decima” Champions League Title.
Xabi Alonso was a very crucial part of Vincent Del Bosque’s Spanish Dynasty (2008-2012). His composure, vision, possession-holding, playmaking, and passing were a crucial part of the Spanish midfield. The area where he excelled the most was in long passing as he controlled the tempo of the game. These abilities were necessary for Spain’s relatively slow midfield. He was also a great Free-kick and Penalty taker in crucial moments. Xabi Alonso’s overall Career with Spanish Natural side was a success as he won two European championships, and a World Cup.
He will be remembered for his playmaking abilities. his passing range, vision. What is even more astonishing is that he could bear the creative burden of the build-up single-handedly at elite teams like Guardiola’s Bayern and Mourinho’s Real Madrid. He was also a powerful tackler and didn’t hold back in challenges.
Xabi Alonso ended his illustrious career after the 2016/17 season, making 804 Professional appearances, and winning many collective and individual awards including two Champions League, two La Liga titles, a FA Cup, a Super Cup, a Supercopa, a DFB-Pokal, three Bundesliga titles, a DFL-SuperCup, a World cup and two European Championships.
It is extremely hard to find another midfielder with expertise in both, the defensive midfield and deep-lying playmaker roles as the era of the “creative holding midfielder” role seems gone. Players with the creativity of Alonso, Guardiola, Carrick, Pirlo, and Redondo are moving towards more advanced midfield positions like those of Xavi, Kroos, Modric.
Xabi Alonso will always be regarded as one of the most talented and gifted midfielders, who rose up to the glory with his immense passion and dedication for the game of football and his contribution will never be forgotten.