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Xabi Alonso

Xabi Alonso
 
Complete Name: Xabier Alonso Olano
Nationality: Spanish
Place of Birth: Tolosa, Spain
Date of Birth: November 25, 1981
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 75 kg
National Team: Spain
Current Club: Liverpool FC (England)
Position: Midfielder
 

Pictures

Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3

Club career history

SD Eibar (Spain), Real Sociedad (Spain), Liverpool FC (England)
 

Honours

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Biography

Xabier Alonso Olano, commonly known as Xabi Alonso (born 25 November 1981), is a Spanish Basque footballer who currently plays his club football at Liverpool F.C. in England. He wears the number 14 shirt at Liverpool and is a midfielder.

He was signed by Rafael Benitez, the then newly appointed manager of Liverpool, from Real Sociedad for a fee of 10.5m. Prior to Real Sociedad, he played for SD Eibar. Alonso is considered by many to be one of the young stars of Spanish football and a considerable talent and played for his country at Euro 2004.


Alonso came through the youth ranks at Real Sociedad and made his debut for the San Sebastian outfit in the 1999/2000 season. His first match was against Logrones on the 1st of December 1999 in a Copa del Rey game. He made 14 further appearances that season.

The following season, in 2000/2001, Xabi spent the first part of the campaign on loan at minnows SD Eibar before returning to Real Sociedad later that season to break into the first team.

Season 2002/2003 was the campaign when Xabi Alonso came to prominence as a star in the making and was a key performer as Real Sociedad finished second in La Liga behind champions Real Madrid. He scored 8 goals in 34 games.

Alonso was called up to the Spain national team for the first time in 2003 and made his debut at the age of 21 in a 4-0 friendly win over Ecuador.

Alonso arrived at Liverpool from Real Sociedad for a fee in the region of 10.5 million in August 2004.

Xabi Alonso made his Premiership debut for Liverpool against Bolton Wanderers at The Reebok Stadium on 29 August 2004, a game that Liverpool lost 1-0. His first goal for Liverpool came from a free-kick against Fulham on 16 October 2004. Liverpool were losing 2-0 at half-time, but Alonso's arrival as a substitute inspired a revival and an eventual 4-2 win.

Although a newcomer to the English league, Alonso has impressed with his exceptional range of passing and vision. After an initial settling in, he established himself as one of the mainstays of Liverpool's midfield. He has become a permanent fixture of Benitez's sides and has endeared many fans with his long range passing ability, and his deft touches to open opposition teams up.

After breaking his ankle following a tackle from Frank Lampard in Liverpool's 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on New Year's Day 2005, Alonso was ruled out of action for over 3 months. He made his return earlier than expected in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Juventus. In the absence of skipper Steven Gerrard through suspension Alonso played for all 90 minutes as Liverpool gained an improbable 0-0 draw in Italy to defeat the eventual Italian Champions on aggregate. Gerrard would later repay the favour to Alonso in the very next round - when Alonso was himself suspended from the second leg of the semi-final against Chelsea, Gerrard steered Liverpool to a 1-0 win with the help of a Luis Garcia goal, putting Liverpool in the Final against Milan.

In the Champions League Final, Alonso played a crucial role as Liverpool completed an incredible comeback from 3-0 down at half-time to level the scores at 3-3. At 3-2, Liverpool were awarded a penalty, which Alonso stepped up to take. While Dida, Milan's Brazilian goalkeeper, managed to save the penalty, Alonso fired the rebound into the roof of the net, making it 3-3. Liverpool went on to win the European Cup on penalties, capping a successful first year for Xabi Alonso in England.

On January 7, 2006, in a thrilling F.A. Cup Third Round tie against Luton Town, Alonso assisted Liverpool to a 5-3 comeback victory, after being down 3-1 early in the second half, by scoring two amazing goals, one from 40 yards and the other from well inside his own half (65 yards).
 

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