Champion of Spain, champion of Germany, winner of the Champions League, champion of Europe and world champion – as well as many victories in the Cup: the trophy cupboard of Xabi Alonso (37 years old ) is packed. Although the Spaniard finally hung up his treadmill in 2017, he has never turned his back on football.
After his active career, he now really wants to start as a coach. From 2018, the former Bayer was a youth coach at the first real Madrid experience. This summer, he joined the second team of his youth club, Real Sociedad.
"My roots are there," said Alonso before joining the San Sebastian club in an interview with "BBC": "My hometown is only 15 minutes away from here. I have lived so close to me that all my childhood has been devoted to Real Sociedad. "For the world and European champion, the club is a matter of heart:" My dad played here, he then became director here.I have always had a close relationship with this club. "
Alonso continues: "I always wanted to go to the stadium, later I even had the chance to play for the club – a dream came true for me at that time." Being back after almost 15 years wakes up Many memories of those days, I am really happy. "The former midfielder had started his career successfully in 1998 in the youth of Real Sociedad. Next are Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern. Now, return to "Los Txuri-Urdin" – as a coach!
Alonso's task as leader of team B: promote the players and introduce them to the first team. For him, the challenge is huge because "the club is doing a great job in the youth department and the young players are preparing as best as possible for their professional career".
As a star, Alonso played among the best coaches. At Real, for example, under José Mourinho, Liverpool under Rafael Benitez and Bayern under Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti. He has taken a lot for his own coaching career, but ensures that he wants to leave his own writing. "Of course I have learned a lot from them, I have had the great chance to gain experience in such big clubs with players, teammates and teammates. I have always worked closely with them to understand how and why they chose to do it. "
Alonso talks about his own coaching philosophy: "You learn big boys, but you have to create your own personality – the coaching position does not work under the slogan" copy and paste. "You have to develop your own ideas and communicate – that's what I'm trying to do. (…) I'm still at the beginning, but my idea is not very different from the one I'm having. I was as a player, I was a midfielder, I always wanted to control the game, I understand it – and I want it too now.I count on my boys, but try to support them from outside and read the game. It's my job. "
In return, the former Spanish international receives advice from his former coach: "Sometimes I call him. I try to stay in close contact with some to maintain good relationships with them. It's the advantage of playing football for 18 years. I have the chance to have contacts with John Toshack (Real Sociedad and Real Madrid), Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and Vicente Del Bosque (former Spanish coach). "
On the one hand, he has a special relationship: the coach of ManCity, Guardiola! "Pep is very special – he understands and reads football like no other – even the little things: how things work and what the team needs to create even more danger." Football is his passion, it's impossible to get that knowledge without heart and passion, and that mix makes it so brilliant. "
That he is a day such a great coach, "will indicate the hour.At this moment, I take every second of my return – and I focus on the here and now." Sunday, La Real Sociedad debuts with world star Alonso on the bench – against Burgos CF in the new season.