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The former Blancos and Spain winger believes the midfielder's recent renewal is "great news" for the Santiago Bernabeu side

EXCLUSIVE
By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Writer

Former Real Madrid and Spain winger Jose Amavisca believes Xabi Alonso's recent contract renewal is "great news" for Carlo Ancelotti's side and says the midfielder is just as important to the club as Cristiano Ronaldo.

Alonso has taken time to consider his future and his delayed decision caused concern at the capital club, but the 32-year-old finally signed a new deal on Tuesday to extend his current agreement until 2016.

"Xabi Alonso is vital for Real Madrid, he is fundamental," Amavisca told Goal.

"Madrid started to play well this season when Xabi came back into the side after his injury. His return made such a big difference."

Alonso's renewal comes only a few months after Ronaldo signed a new deal to extend his own Bernabeu stay to 2018.

"Xabi's importance is comparable to that of Ronaldo," Amavisca added,

"Cristiano is a finisher, but Alonso is the one who pulls the strings in midfield, the one who takes the team by the scruff of the neck and dictates the play.

"His renewal is great, great news for the club."

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