Xabi Alonso will say goodbye at the end of this season.
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The legendary Spanish midfielder, 35, announced Thursday that he’ll bring an end to his glittering career at the conclusion of the 2016-17 campaign with Bayern Munich.
Capped 114 times for Spain, the fifth-most appearances for the nation, Alonso won the 2010 World Cup and the European Championships in 2008 and 2012 with Spain.
He began his club career at Real Sociedad before moving to Liverpool where he won the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup. He then switched to Real Madrid where he won a La Liga title, Copa del Rey and another UCL trophy, before spending the past three seasons at Bayern Munich where he’s won two-straight Bundesliga titles and is on his way to another, plus has a German Cup to his name.
In a statement he admitted the decision was tough but this was the right time to move on.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I believe it’s the right time. I always thought it would be better to quit sooner rather than later. I still feel good, but I believe this is the right moment. I wanted to end my career still at the highest level, and Bayern is the highest level. I’m incredibly proud and happy to play for FC Bayern and to be a part of this family.”
Alonso will be remembered for his silky passing, set pieces and incredible composure in the holding midfield role — plus a few outrageous long-range goals in the Premier League — as the Spaniard shone for Liverpool before going on to be influential at both Real Madrid and Bayern.
His legacy will live on for many years and he’s bowing out on top.