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Bayern Munich legend Uli Hoeneß sees Bayer Leverkusen’s Xabi Alonso as a strategist

Xabi Alonso knows Bayern Munich well.

Bayern Munich vs SC Freiburg Photo by Matthias Balk/picture alliance via Getty Images

Bayern Munich legend Uli Hoeneß has admired Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso’s work from afar.

On Saturday, Hoeneß will get an up-close look at the former Bayern Munich midfielder working his magic on the sideline for Die Werkself.

“I think we can see what happens when a coach can work with his players in peace. Believe me: you can get out of your skin here at Bayern. In Leverkusen, you can really concentrate on what’s important. I think they can only talk about football day and night. And here on Monday morning we read in the newspaper that Thomas Strunz, whom I haven’t heard from since Giovanni Trapattoni, suddenly says everything the club is doing wrong,” Hoeneß told the Frankfurter Allgemeine (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “When he left us, he was sitting in my office on Säbener Straße. He wanted to thank us for the great time. It was a great conversation. I think he has players that suit him this season. But you have to say that they were also a bit lucky with their transfers. No one else saw (Victor) Boniface. And no one knew who (Álex) Grimaldo was before.

“You also have to be lucky when a player comes to a new country, to a new team, to a new club for him to have such an impact. As a player I knew Xabi up close, as a coach I only know him from a distance. I have to say that, as a coach, he is also implementing what he did here as a strategist.”

Alonso will be tasked with putting together a plan to neutralize Bayern Munich’s attack, while also seeking to take advantage of the midfield and defensive groups for the Bavarians — neither of whom are expected to utilize player combinations that played together in the past two weeks.

Looking for more thoughts and analysis on the Bayern Munich vs. Bayer Leverkusen match? Check out our Bavarian Podcast Works — Preview Show on Spotify or below:

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