Xabi Alonso opens up on the Anfield aura following Liverpool return
The Spaniard is one of the most celebrated midfielders of his generation and has played for some of the most illustrious clubs in European football. Alonso moved to Anfield from Real Sociedad in 2004 and spent four years at the club.
He made 210 appearances for the Reds, scoring 18 goals and assisting 20 more. This included two efforts from his one half and the crucial penalty in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final. Despite his short stint on Merseyside, there is no love lost between the player and the fans.
He stood out in yesterday’s match and still appears to have his ability to make difficult passes seem easy. Speaking on his return to Anfield, Alonso lavished praise on the stadium and admitted that the match really awakened him.
“I really loved it and a great cause, great atmosphere, best stadium in the world. Great day.”
He goes on to add that Anfield has its own spot in footballing folklore as an arena of legends. The Reds’ home is unlike anything else in world football and despite all the years away, Alonso has not forgotten that.
“You have pretty stadiums all over the world, great atmospheres, Champions League nights – but this is Anfield. The soul, the stands, the lights, it’s different and it’s pure football. That’s why we love it as a player, as a fan, as anyone that comes.”
The game ended with a 2-1 comeback win for Liverpool. Dimitar Berbatov put Manchester United ahead before goals from Mark Gonzalez and Florent Sinama-Pongolle turned the game around for the Reds.
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Alonso has earned his coaching badges and has managed the Real Madrid Under-14s and more recently the Real Sociedad B team. Whether a return to Merseyside as a manager is something we expect in the future remains to be seen.