Xabier “Xabi” Alonso Olano was born on 25th November, 1981 in Tolosa, Spain. He hails from a family which has always been a part of Spanish football. His father, Periko Alonso won the La Liga twice and played for Real Sociedad and Barcelona. He also represented Spain at the senior level and earned 20 caps.This edition of ‘The Good Life’ focuses on Xabi Alonso...
Mikel Arteta & Xabi Aonso
|“From The Little Times”
Xabi Alonso spent the first six years of his life in Barcelona (now we know how he can pass the ball so well!) and eventually moved back to the Basque County where he first began playing football along with his older brother Mikel Alonso and Mikel Arteta (yes, THAT Mikel Arteta).
Alonso was hugely influenced by his father into joining football. Even when he was young, he preferred to pass the ball rather than shooting it. He started playing as a defensive midfielder, a role he somewhat holds to this day. Despite his father being a former football player and coach, they talked little about the sport at home.
|Xabi Alonso started his career with a Real Sociedad and was joined by his brother also. After featuring for Spain in Euro 2004, he was bought by Liverpool when fellow Spaniard, Rafa Benitez took charge. He has won the Champions League and FA Cup with Liverpool and joined Spanish giants Real Madrid in 2009/10 season for a huge sum of 30 million Euros. He has also won the Euro and World Cup with Spain.|
Regarded as a quiet and friendly person by his teammates, Alonso is married to his childhood sweetheart and Spanish actress, Nagore Aranburu who is an year older than him. Together, the couple has two children – Ane and Jontxu. He’s often seen out shopping and dining with his wife in Madrid.
|“WAG & Family”
Nagore Aranburu has openly come out to say that she doesn’t mind being branded as a “WAG”. Nagore actually loves it. She’s also dubbed as the Basque Sara Carbonero. Alonso decided to miss Liverpool’s important clash with Inter in the Champions League 2007-08 season and be present at the birth of his first child with his wife, which caused friction with the then manager, Rafa Benitez.
Alonso visited the Irish towns of Kells and Meath when he was 15. He developed an interest in playing Gaelic Football and he supports the Meath Gaelic Football team. It is also rumoured that he won a Minor All-Ireland medal during his playing days. If this is true he is the only man to have won this medal along with a Champions League medal which he picked up in 2005 for Liverpool in that famous final against AC Milan in Istanbul. Alonso wears number 14 since he played in Gaelic Football at the age 15. He wore no. 22 when he joined Real Madrid but was soon given no.14 after Guti’s departure. Other football players like Martin O’Neill, Seamus Coleman, Stephen Hunt and Shane Long have also played Gaelic Football.
A fan once won 25,000 Pounds for betting that Alonso would score from 65m out! He’s famous for attempting shots from his own half, a skill that separates him from other midfielders and adds to his abilities of accurate passing and spreading of play. He’s also famous for his 60m diagonal across the field.
Alonso loves the tuna which is available in his home town. When he used to play for Liverpool, he found the same tinned tuna he used to eat back at home. He joked that it helped him adapt quickly to the English lifestyle. His mouth also waters at the site of a grilled lobster. Another interesting fact about him is that he doesn’t like olives unlike most of his fellow countrymen!
Ex-Liverpool and Spain team-mate, Pepe Reina, has given the nickname “Dexter” to Alonso because of his resemblance to Michael C. Hall. Alonso has the same tall, dark and rugged looks sported by Michael in the famous TV series, Dexter. A lot of his Real Madrid team-mates and the Spanish press have given him the nickname of La Barba Roja (The Red Beard).
Unlike some of his Real Madrid team-mates like Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo and Karim Benzema, Xabi Alonso prefers to living life in the centre of Madrid and not in the suburbs. He moved his family from their suburban home to the city centre, claiming that he’s more of the urban type. Sometimes, he likes to relax by going fishing and spending time with friends.
|“Movies & Lyrics”
Outside of football, his interests like in playing cards and listening to music. He prefers to listen to Las letras de Sabina and also classics like Nirvana and Queen. Apart from that, he joked that he has to listen to music which Sergio Ramos plays in the dressing room!
He’s favourite movie is “The Others.” As a young child, he had the chance to act in Julio Medem’s “Vacas”. The director was looking for a redheaded kid with a Basque face and Xabi was perfect for the role. Unfortunately for the director, Xabi’s father was out of town and his mother had declined the role.
Xabi Alonso uses the Land Range Rover. He also owns an Audi, which is presented to every Real Madrid player by their sponsor.
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