It’s about now we’re probably realising how blessed we were to have Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso in the same team together during Rafa Benitez’s reign…
Not to mention Javier Mascherano, who’d still be regarded as the world’s best holding midfielder if Barca hadn’t converted him into a centre-back.
How we didn’t win a Premier League title with that trio behind Fernando Torres doesn’t bear thinking about.
Today, Alonso confirmed on Twitter that he’d be retiring from professional football at the end of the season.
By that time, the Bayern Munich star could well have added another Champions League medal and Bundesliga title to his collection…
We tracked down this quote on Xabi from Gerrard, written in our former skipper’s autobiography and cited today by UEFA.
For us, it sums up everything you need to know about Alonso. Not only did Gerrard consider him royalty on the pitch, but he’d want him as his assistant manager off it, too.
“It was clear Alonso was royalty after our first training session together in August 2004 … He was, by some distance, the best central midfielder I ever played alongside. If, totally hypothetically, I was going to become Liverpool manager one day I know who I’d love to have as my assistant: Xabi Alonso or Jamie Carragher.”