Xabi Alonso (39) will apparently take over the coaching position at Borussia Mönchengladbach in the coming summer. It has always been clear that the former midfielder would eventually become a coach. His first positions give hope for a great second career.
According to the official statistics sheets, Xabi Alonso has only been a coach for almost three years, but of course that is not true: In fact, he has been part-time since his debut appearance in professional football in 2000. The mistake is obvious, because he did not stand idly behind the sidelines at first , but also played incredibly well himself at the same time.
“He’s already acting like a coach on the field,” said Jose Mourinho once about midfielder Alonso, who – or so it seems – always chose his clubs a little based on the current coach. At Liverpool FC he worked with Rafael Benitez, at Real with the same Mourinho and also with Carlo Ancelotti and at FC Bayern with Pep Guardiola.
The most renowned coaches in the world literally attracted Alonso, or was it the other way around? What is certain is that they all made him their extended arm in the field. Whereby, better: elongated head.
“I’ve always taken the responsibility to convey the coach’s idea to the team,” Alonso told the in 2017 Wall Street Journal. That was just before the end of his playing career, which had brought him all the important titles. With the Spanish national team he was world and European champion, with Liverpool and Real he won the Champions League and also numerous national championship titles and cups.
Xabi Alonso’s first coaching station at Real Madrid U14
On the side, Alonso completed all the necessary coaching courses, by the way, together with his former colleagues from the Spanish national team Raul, Xavi, Victor Valdes and Joan Capdevila. After acquiring the UEFA Pro license and the U14 title, Real reportedly wanted him to be the U19 coach, but instead he returned to his home club Real Sociedad San Sebastian.
Alonso was the coach of the third-rate reserve team, which he had passed himself on on the way to his world career around 20 years earlier. Back then as a player he was a bit of a coach and now as a coach he is still a bit of a player. “He has not lost his talent and likes to take part in the exercises,” says Roberto Lopez. “He teaches us the game as if he were still playing himself.”
In Alonso’s first season at Real Sociedad B, Lopez (20) played in a possession-oriented 4-2-3-1 system mostly as a tenth ahead of six Martin Zubimendi (22). With their team, the two narrowly missed the promotion to the second division, but were instead promoted to the in-house professionals. Zubimendi is now a regular there and Lopez has already made a few appearances.
Her successors in Alonso’s current team around the allegedly highly talented Spanish U19 international Robert Navarro (18) are meanwhile rushing from victory to victory. Real Sociedad B is currently leading the multi-track third division. A promotion would be quite an achievement, as there is currently not a single reserve team from a Primera Division club in the second division.