Photography by Rafael de Pazos

Xabi Alonso

Player, Real Sociedad, 2001-2004; Real Madrid, 2009-2014

“Once in the semi finals of the Champions League, little details make the difference. A good day or a mistake takes you into the final or leaves you behind”

Xabi Alonso had already won the Champions League with Liverpool when he returned to Spain with Real Madrid in 2009, and became one of the most influential figures in them eventually winning La Décima under Carlo Ancelotti in 2014For three seasons under José Mourinho they reached the semi finals but struggled to take that final step. Once they did so, they succeeded, and in the following seasons became Europe’s strongest team.

It was also Real who narrowly beat Real Sociedad to La Liga, before Alonso’s five seasons in the Premier League, when he demonstrated his potential to become one of the world’s finest midfielders. Speaking exclusively to The Coaches’ Voice, Alonso revisits his years with each, and his gradual evolution as a player across those periods in his career. He also revisits the influence Mourinho had at Real, at a time when they were under such pressure to overcome Barcelona.

Xabi Alonso

Pako Ayestarán

Raw Ingredients

Steven Gerrard is capable of becoming as good a manager as he was player, according to Pako Ayestarán, Rafa Benítez’s assistant while Gerrard was Liverpool captain

Xabi Alonso

Xabi Alonso exclusively revisits his midfield roles at Real Sociedad, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, where he was so influential
José Mourinho

To Be Continued

In the fourth and final part of our exclusive series with José Mourinho, he speaks about his philosophy, and the type of challenges he wants