Alonso hails 'special club' after Liverpool's classy retirement tribute

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After the Reds honoured the midfielder ahead of his retirement, he replied in kind with fond words for his old club stating he was lucky to play there

Xabi Alonso only had fond words for former club Liverpool one day on from his retirement announcement, labeling them a "special club".

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The Bayern Munich midfielder declared on Thursday that he will be ending his career, which also saw him play for Real Sociedad, Eibar and Real Madrid, at the end of the season.

Liverpool paid tribute to Alonso after his announcement with thousands of their supporters following suit and the 35-year-old has responded in kind, discussing his "special" time at Anfield between 2004 and 2009.

He recalled his famous 2005 Champions League winners' medal earned with Liverpool in Istanbul and hopes to win the European crown one more time with Bayern before he bows out.

"My time in England was, for me, spectacular," he told reporters ahead of Bayern's Bundesliga match with Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday.

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"I was 22, it was my first experience of living on my own and of living somewhere which wasn't my home town.

"Until that moment I was living with my parents and I knew everything in the neighbourhood.

"It was when I became an adult and I realised in that first year at Liverpool what a special club it is, with all the history and the tradition of Liverpool. From the first day you realise how big it is.

"I was lucky enough to play in a fantastic final for Liverpool and to win that Champions League.

"Hopefully I will have another chance to win it this season."

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After he confirmed his impending retirement, Liverpool released a statement praising his accomplishments and posted memories of his best moments across their social media channels.

Former captain Steven Gerrard, now an academy coach, also made a touching tribute to the ex-Spain international.

"Xabi, you are pure quality. A class act on the pitch and a gentlemen off it," his old team-mate wrote. "It was a pleasure to play alongside you and I missed you every day from the moment you left the Reds.

"Congratulations on your perfect career and good luck to you and your family In the future."

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