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Xabi Alonso

Former Liverpool & Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso appointed Bayer Leverkusen manager

6:55 PM WAT 05/10/2022
Xabi Alonso
Xabi Alonso has been handed his first senior managerial post after being confirmed as the new Bayer Leverkusen manager.
  • Bayer suffer poor start to Bundesliga season
  • Gerardo Seoane replaced
  • Alonso takes over in first senior role

WHAT HAPPENED? Bayer Leverkusen have confirmed Alonso is the club's new head coach and has signed a contract until June 30, 2024. The Spaniard enjoyed a stellar playing career starring for Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Real Madrid and has since moved into management. The World Cup winner has worked as a coach with Real Madrid's youth sides and most recently took charge of Real Sociedad B.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: The team are currently one place off the bottom in the Bundesliga, with just one win from eight games. Leverkusen were also beaten 2-0 by Porto last time out in the Champions League but are still level on points in Group B with the Portuguese side and Atletico Madrid.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Sporting director Simon Rolfes has explained why his club have moved for Alonso. "In Xabi Alonso we have signed a coach who, as a player, was an absolute world-class professional for many years, an intelligent strategist and extremely successful in three of the most demanding European leagues," he told the club's official website.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I know Leverkusen from my time in Germany as an excellent club. Bayer 04 have always had great players, and I see a lot of quality in the current squad too," Alonso added. "In my discussions with the club, it quickly became clear that, despite the currently difficult situation, ambitious goals are still being pursued in principle. I am very excited about this task and I am sure that we will live up to this claim."

STORY IN THREE PHOTOS:

DID YOU KNOW? Alonso made 815 appearances for club & country during his playing career and won 17 trophies, including the Bundesliga, La Liga, the World Cup, the Club World Cup and the FA Cup.

THE VERDICT:

Alonso has learned his trade from the very best in the business.

It's an exciting next step in Alonso's managerial career.

WHAT NEXT FOR ALONSO? The new manager will take charge of Leverkusen for the first time on Saturday in a Bundesliga fixture at home to Schalke.