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Bayern Munich midfielder Marc Roca has a familiar role model for his game

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Marc Roca admires the work of former Bayern Munich star Xabi Alonso.

FC Bayern Muenchen v FC Augsburg - Bundesliga Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

It is not often that someone gets to follow in the footsteps of their role model.

For Bayern Munich midfielder Marc Roca, however, the Spaniard is getting the opportunity to do exactly that. Roca grew up idolizing former Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and Real Madrid star Xabi Alonso — and now gets to train and play on the same grounds that Alonso once did.

“From his time at Liverpool to his years in Bavaria, he has always been an inspiration to me,” said Roca in a recent interview with Bild. “He was so complete — just the way I like midfielders! He played fantastic with the ball, but was always perfectly positioned without it and could also be aggressive when necessary. I admire him very much.”

Roca’s admiration of Alonso is fitting. A defensive midfielder, Roca is working on fine-tuning some of the parts of his game that Alonso excelled at in his prime — passing, spatial awareness, and speed of play.