29 Facts About Xabi Alonso

1. Xabi Alonso has another brother involved in football, Jon, who works as a referee.

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2. Xabi Alonso helped persuade former Real Sociedad teammate Juan Ugarte to make a move to Wales by joining Wrexham in 2004.

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3. Xabi Alonso convinced Arteta to transfer to Everton after he told him how happy he was living in Liverpool.

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4. Xabi Alonso was regarded as a quiet and friendly person by his former teammates at Liverpool.

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5. Xabi Alonso started every game for Spain during the 2010 tournament, playing alongside Sergio Busquets and Xavi in midfield and helping his side to lift their first-ever World Cup trophy.

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6. Xabi Alonso was named in the Spanish squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and he scored Spain's first goal of the tournament, his first international goal, against Ukraine on 14 June 2006.

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7. On 18 December 2015, Xabi Alonso signed a new contract with Bayern, keeping him at the club until 2017.

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8. Xabi Alonso would go on to record his fourth goal, another free kick, against Porto in the Champions League quarter-final.

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9. On 29 August 2014, Xabi Alonso moved to Bayern Munich on a two-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

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10. On 8 January 2014, Xabi Alonso signed a contract extension with Real Madrid, which would have kept him at the club until 2016.

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11. Xabi Alonso continued to be an undisputed force in the starting XI and ultimately claimed the first league title of his career.

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12. Xabi Alonso made his 100th league appearance for Liverpool on 12 January 2008 against Middlesbrough.

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13. On 8 June 2007, Xabi Alonso signed a five-year contract, stating, "I knew there was interest from other clubs but it was always my idea to stay here.

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14. Xabi Alonso faced more competition for his place in the form of new arrival Mohamed Sissoko.

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15. Xabi Alonso was ecstatic with the win, commenting, "This is the best moment in my professional career.

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16. Xabi Alonso was praised for his pivotal influence on the team's comeback and manager Benitez reinforced his importance to the team.

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17. Xabi Alonso made his return to the first team in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Juventus.

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18. Xabi Alonso was elated at the achievement and felt he was settling in well in England.

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19. Xabi Alonso made his Premier League debut for the Merseysiders against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium on 29 August 2004.

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20. Xabi Alonso arrived at Liverpool along with Luis Garcia from Barcelona, marking the beginning of a new era at Anfield.

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21. Xabi Alonso was not picked for Real Sociedad's pre-season friendlies, signalling that an offer by Liverpool was being treated seriously.

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22. Xabi Alonso had other concerns and focused on international duty with Spain at UEFA Euro 2004.

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23. Xabi Alonso appeared consistently in La Liga with 30 appearances over the course of the season and scored his first league goal, finishing with a season total of three.

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24. Xabi Alonso quickly progressed through the youth ranks and the reserve team at Real Sociedad and impressed enough to earn a first team debut at the age of 18.

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25. At age 15, Xabi Alonso went to the Irish town of Kells, County Meath, on a school exchange programme to learn English.

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26. On the Basque sands, Xabi Alonso befriended a fellow resident of Calle Matia, Mikel Arteta, and the two would battle each other in exhibitions of technical ability.

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27. Xabi Alonso lived in the city of Barcelona for the first six years of his life and moved to San Sebastian thereafter.

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28. Xabi Alonso was born in the small town of Tolosa, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, into a family known for its footballing prowess.

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29. Xabi Alonso began his career at Real Sociedad, the main team of his home province Gipuzkoa.

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