Spanish football Xabi Alonso returns to his roots Xabi Alonso moved to Liverpool from youth academy club Alaves, where he began his career
Xabi Alonso has made his way back home after fulfilling his dream to end his career at Real Madrid. The Spanish midfielder has signed for Alaves in an attempt to find the buzz that has so far eluded him since leaving the Segunda Liga club 18 months ago.
His decision to return to Alaves, to whom he debuted as a 17-year-old, was made with his family and the club chief executive, Angel Marías, were on hand to welcome Alonso at his daughter’s school. Marías said: “He’s here to finish his career in Alaves, where he began his career when he was 17. We all had a role to play in making sure it was possible.”
Alaves, who face Real Betis on Tuesday night, where Alonso is expected to win a record 110th cap, will permit the former Liverpool player to practice with the team while he looks for a start.
“He’s the type of player who has to have all the tools to succeed,” Marías said. “He’s clearly the number one target player for this team. The fact he trained with us this morning means we are committed to make him fit in and ready to play in the team.”
Alonso, who is set to retire from international football at the end of the year, told Alvesodeportivo.com: “I’m happy to be back and want to show my quality, my professionalism and my commitment, which in our sport must be always there. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a pitch, but it’s more than happy just to be back, to be there training and getting used to playing with the team. I love the club and I love Alaves, the people, but I’m training with Alaves and I’m trying to be the best player I can be.
“I’ve only been with Alaves four or five days so far but it’s going to take time to adapt, I’m 32 years old, I haven’t played for 15 months but hopefully I’ll get back into the rhythm of training and getting myself fit. I’ll train with the team, I’ll train as hard as I can. That’s the last thing I want, to go through all this and not find my place back in the team. I’m grateful to Alaves for bringing me back, because we went through a crisis and I think the club was looking for someone who would unite the players and help them recover quickly.”