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'I was curious' - Alonso reveals he left Real Madrid for Guardiola

21:25 EAT 16/11/2019
Xabi Alonso, Pep Guardiola, Bayern Munich
The manager was behind the former midfielder's decision to leave for Bayern Munich in 2014

Xabi Alonso has revealed he left Real Madrid for Bayern Munich because he was "curious" to find out Pep Guardiola's coaching secrets.

The 37-year-old swapped clubs in 2014 after five seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, where he won six major trophies.

Alonso left Madrid three months after helping them to Champions League glory and went on to spend three years with Bayern before announcing his playing retirement.

The former Liverpool midfielder made a total of 117 appearances and scored nine goals during his time with Bayern as the club won three Bundesliga titles and one DFB-Pokal.

Explaining his reasons for wanting to leave the Spanish giants, Alonso told The Athletic: "I was so curious to find out [Guardiola's] secrets.

"He has a relentless natural enthusiasm. Football seasons are long but right until the very end, Pep never seemed to be tired. 

"He was alert, always ready. For the players, maybe this gave us an extra few metres in our legs when it mattered most."

Guardiola is now in charge of Manchester City, where he has won two consecutive Premier League titles, pipping Liverpool in a historic title race last season.

City currently sit fourth in the Premier League, having recently lost to the Reds as Liverpool opened up a nine-point lead over last season's champions.

Alonso, who took over as Real Sociedad B head coach in June, also praised the work of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

The former Spain international, who played against Klopp's Borussia Dortmund side during his time at Madrid and Bayern, said: "I didn't enjoy playing against them because they made it so intense, you'd almost break.

"It was like he wanted you to be in a cage. He wanted to trap you. There was an organised pressure. I was under pressure all the time. 

"I enjoyed the mood around those games because they were so important but the challenge of beating Dortmund was immense."

Klopp's Liverpool will face Crystal Palace next weekend following the conclusion of the international break.

Manchester City, on the other hand, face a vital clash with Chelsea as both teams look to keep pace with Liverpool in the title race.