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Alonso: I aim to take away as much as possible

Even before the 2015/16 campaign, Xabi Alonso’s extraordinary honours collection already included the World Cup, the European Championship, the Champions League twice and the Spanish championship. He has now added the German domestic double to that premium quality list. At the end of his second season with FC Bayern the 34-year-old spoke to about outgoing boss Pep Guardiola and his successor Carlo Ancelotti, who previously coached the midfielder at Real Madrid. Xabi also mulled over his own future, admitting he hasn’t ruled out becoming a coach himself.

Xabi Alonso on...

...Pep Guardiola: “I think expectations of big players and big coaches are always so high that they’re difficult to match. But considering the job that he’s done and the style of football we’ve played for the last three years, I think everyone is really pleased at the end. Winning the Champions League is so difficult – sometimes it’s purely a matter of luck. But I think the job Pep has done here is fantastic and he’s leaving a great legacy for Carlo Ancelotti next year and in the future.”

...Carlo Ancelotti: “Carlo Ancelotti is a great man-manager. He’s able to connect with everyone in an easy way, not creating conflict. He tries to have good relations with the players. And as you know he’s a football man. He was a great player and he’s managed great teams: Milan, Juventus, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid and now Bayern, so his CV is impeccable. But now he’s beginning a new adventure here with Bayern, and hopefully it’ll be a successful one. The prospect is that we’re going to be able to compete for everything. But at the end, what are we going to manage to win? No-one knows, but for sure we’ll try to do everything possible.”

...his progress in learning German: “I know I make many mistakes because it’s a very difficult language, but I’m trying. For the few years that I’ll be staying here I’d like to improve and learn, and take as much as possible away with me, not just from a professional point of view, from a personal one as well. I want to get to know Germany, Bavaria and Munich a little better. That’s very important to me.”

...his plans once he finishes playing: “I like football. I like watching football, and I like understanding it. I’m not sure whether I’ll end up as a coach, but I can’t say I’m definitely not going to be a coach. As always, time will tell.”

...his vacation plans: “I have to stay here for a while because the kids are still in school. The summer this year will be different for me. After so many years with the national team I’ll enjoy a nice break, watching the EURO from the other side. It’s going to be exciting.”