Xabi Alonso is doing remarkable things with the Bayer Leverkusen side that is currently topping the Bundesliga table and also still in the running in both the DFB-Pokal and UEFA Europa League. They have yet to lose a Bundesliga match so far this season and this weekend’s clash against Bayern Munich has massive implications on who will go on to lift the Meisterschale at the end of May.
Manuel Neuer, Joshua Kimmich and Thomas Müller are going up against a manager they previously played with at Bayern from Alonso’s tenure as a player there. The former Spain international spent three years with the Rekordmeister before hanging up his playing boots for good, having won a plethora of trophies during his career in Germany, Spain, and England from his tenures with Bayern, Real Madrid, and Liverpool.
Going into this weekend’s all-important matchup of first versus second in the Bundesliga, Neuer explained just how similar Alonso’s coaching style is to the way that he played himself. His tactics that are implemented at Leverkusen have been working incredibly well so far this season and they have proven to be a tough nut to crack when it comes to keeping them off the scoresheet and scoring against them.
“It’s like how Xabi played when he was a player. He gained an insight into a good passing game, playing with a lot of possession, and he passed this onto his team. He’s a player who really enjoyed having the ball and his team have this character, where they want to have the ball and not chase it,” Neuer recently explained of Alonso’s playing and managing style (via @iMiaSanMia).
Much like anyone else who has been paying close attention to just how high Die Werkself has risen ever since Xabi Alonso took over as manager, Neuer recognizes just how good of a fit his former teammate makes with Leverkusen. “He took over the team in a very difficult moment and still showed straight away that things were only going to go in one direction. You noticed immediately that Xabi Alonso and Bayer Leverkusen are just a good fit for each other and that has an effect on players,” Bayern’s keeper lauded.
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