The Guardian has published an extract from author Simon Hughe´s latest book “Ring of fire” (it is not on sale yet), wherein Xabi Alonso reflects on his professional career.
The midfielder faces his third season at Bayern Munich: “I am committed at Bayern until 2017. I want to win the Bundesliga again. I want to win the cup. I want to win the Champions League for a third different club. I want to win everything there is to win. And maybe then I will stop“.
He admits that there are his last years and because of that he wants the success even more:”I want to be productive. I don’t look back at what I’ve done in the past or how I’ve got here. I only look forward and at ways of maintaining my levels”.
During his professional career, Xabi Alonso has played in some of the best european teams: Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. His brief at each club has been different: “At Liverpool, Benítez wanted me to feed Steven Gerrard; at Real Madrid the target – Cristiano Ronaldo – was slightly further away, meaning longer passes. At Bayern, where the game is shorter, Guardiola called me funnel”.
“If you win the midfield, you probably win the game,” he explains. “But that doesn’t mean the players in the midfield are the ones alone who determine that, because now we have strikers who drop into midfield and defenders who move up into the midfield. It is the area you must dominate. If you have control of the midfield, you have control of the game and you have more chances to win”.
Alonso confesses that moving from Liverpool to Madrid was the most difficult step to make in terms of the decision: “But I felt that I had new things to learn, new challenges to take. The only thing I regret is not winning the Premier League with Liverpool. I’ll never know how that feels and experience the reaction of the city, as I did after Istanbul. It hurts because I know the people want the league title more than anything”.