Another footballing legend is calling it quits!
After Philipp Lahm announced his retirement just a few weeks ago, Xabi Alonso has also officially announced that he’ll be hanging ‘em up at the end of the season.
Lived it. Loved it.— Xabi Alonso (@XabiAlonso) March 9, 2017
Farewell beautiful game. pic.twitter.com/1aSN7GGNzZ
The Spanish passing maestro has spent the last three years in Munich after moving from Real Madrid in the summer of 2014, immediately slotting into the starting line-up as the starting defensive midfielder in Pep Guardiola’s side.
His importance has carried over into Carlo Ancelotti’s team this season, having made 27 total appearances already this year, and providing a calmness and sense of direction in build-up play that has been vital to Bayern’s success.
In three season with Bayern, Alonso has played 106 games, scoring 9 goals (most of the stunning, long-range variety) and provding 9 assists.
Alonso, 35, has spent time at various clubs in his career, including Real Madrid and Liverpool, where he won two Champions League titles (one with each team), while also winning a World Cup in 2010 and two European Championships in 2008 and 2012 with Spain.
It’ll be interesting to see whether Bayern compensate for his loss by giving Joshua Kimmich and Renato Sanches bigger roles, or whether they feel they’ll need use the transfer market to bring an Alonso-type into the team, as Kimmich may be needed at right-back, and Sanches is likely more suited for a role further up the pitch.