But as he embarks on a career in management, Alonso takes it step by step.
“I feel my step is there because I’m in no rush to reach the top level. I know that at some point, if I keep doing well, it will come.”
As a player, it certainly went well – and then some – for Alonso.
When he decided to retire in the summer of 2017, Alonso quit football after winning all the major trophies in world football he could have won.
And with Spain, there was the success of the national team in the 2010 World Cup as well as two triumphs in the European Championship.
As a player, Alonso was invariably the team’s conductor. Renowned for his technical abilities, precision passing and tactical playing, Alonso dictated the pace and tempo of games almost like a human metronome.
“He was already training when he was playing,” said former Spain and Liverpool teammate Luis Garcia.
Speaking from San Sebastian in Spain where he now lives and works, Alonso describes himself as a player who was like a manager on the pitch.
“Sometimes the manager doesn’t have time to give instruction on the pitch. So you need players who can make those decisions when you’re playing so fast. And that was my job, and that’s why it’s became natural to me, to me, this process of trying to be a manager. ”
To start his new career, Alonso started coaching youth at Real Madrid where he guided the Under-13s to a league, and now he’s back where it all started for him at Real Sociedad.
While he has graced the best soccer theaters in the world and has become beloved at Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, Alonso’s roots are firmly rooted in the Basque region of northern Spain.
His father won the league with Los Txuri-Urdin (Les Blancs et les Bleus) and also coached the team, so the club is in Alonso’s DNA.
“I started here, so for me it made perfect sense to go back to my roots,” he says.
“So far I’m really learning and the project we have at Real Sociedad is fantastic. And for me it’s a great privilege and pleasure to be here to work with and develop young players.”
Alonso’s Midas touch continued at Sociedad as he helped B team Sanse to a promotion to Spain’s second division but he says his goals are twofold at the club as producing is essential. also players from the first team. Real Sociedad are currently third in La Liga, tied on points with leaders Real Madrid.
It really is a list of football coaching royalties that have bequeathed different philosophies to the game.
“I was a midfielder so I like control and I like that my teams control the game, play good football, can be active with the ball and not wait for the opening,” Alonso says of his own trainer. philosophy. “They have to be brave, be proactive, find things.”
Even though he is only at the start of his career, many experts are already predicting a bright future for Alonso.
“I think he can potentially be as good as Guardiola,” said Spain football expert Ernest Macia who has spent years watching Alonso play for club and country.
“Why? Because I think he’s more malleable than Guardiola.”
“Guardiola tried to convince Bayern Munich or Manchester City players of his own style. I think he’s a more mature coach now, but I think Xabi Alonso will be a mature coach from the start.
“Guardiola was lucky to have the best generation ever together at Barcelona. Xabi Alonso won’t have that chance, but he will be smart to adapt from the start to the type of team he has. And he knows it. ”
Macia says Alonso “will coach the national team for sure” and that it would be a “very natural step”, but before that we will likely see him coach in one of the European powers.
In addition to excelling in football and training, Alonso is also good at speaking several languages. He is fluent in Spanish, English and German and that will certainly open many doors. And earlier this year, it was widely reported that Alonso would become the coach of Borussia Mönchengladbach.
“In international football speaking multiple languages helps,” said former Liverpool defender John Scales.
“There is no divine right for a great player to make a great manager, but Alonso does it slowly and methodically, learning the trade.”
“And as a former player coming back to Liverpool maybe I think it would be fantastic. If you’ve played for the club you understand the culture, the history and you relate to the fans. You have an affinity with it. everything is important to great things, ”says Scales.
Alonso, however, is quick to cool down any discussion of a possible return to Anfield.
“I’m here in San Sebastian and the Liverpool fans, they say hello and I still feel that support. For me that feeling in life is great. Right now, Jurgen [Klopp] does a great job, so I think the job is done, but for sure Liverpool are the best, the best club for me, very, very, special. ”