January 18, 2017
Bayern Munich star Xabi Alonso is reportedly planning to retire at the end of the season when his contract with the Bavarians is up.
According to Sport Bild (h/t the Mirror‘s Alex Richards), the Spaniard will bring down the curtain on a glittering career when the campaign ends, and the 35-year-old has made his intentions clear to the powers that be at Bayern late last year.
Alonso joined the Bundesliga champions from Real Madrid in 2014. The midfielder began his career at Real Sociedad before making over 200 appearances apiece for Liverpool and Real Madrid, and he is just three outings short of a century with Bayern.
In that time, he accumulated an impressive array of silverware, including the UEFA Champions League, FA Cup, Copa del Rey, La Liga and Bundesliga titles among others, as well as winning the FIFA World Cup and two UEFA European Championships with Spain.
Alonso’s impeccable distribution, intelligence and composure in possession made him one of the best holding midfielders of his generation.
He has continued to be a regular fixture in Bayern‘s side this season despite his age, and it’s easy to see why, as the Bundesliga demonstrated:
Bundesliga English @Bundesliga_EN
What a pass from @xabialonso! 🎯 Check out 👀 his pinpoint ball which led to @kingarturo23’s slick finish for @FCBayernEN yesterday! 🔥 https://t.co/9bCXp8kRis
1/11/2017, 2:20:02 PM
Indeed, both manager Carlo Ancelotti and the higher-ups at Bayern are reportedly hoping he will stay on for one more season.
If Alonso does retire, the German club will have the likes of Joshua Kimmich to replace him, but he will have considerable boots to fill.
Arjen Robben, who will be 33 on Monday, was recently handed a new deal at the Allianz Arena, though, and it seems Bayern will be hoping Alonso might also extend his stay—it all depends on how firm the midfielder is in his decision.