Xabi Alonso counts Liverpool’s inability to win the Premier League in 2009 and FC Bayern München’s recent Champions League failure amongst the low points of his career.
The Spain international, who recently played the final competitive football match of his career, spent five seasons at Anfield before making a £30m move to Real Madrid and it was in the last of these that he came the closest to lifting the Premier League title.
The 2008/09 Premier League season saw the Merseyside club pipped to the top spot by arch-rivals Manchester United despite stringing together an astonishing run of 10 victories in the final 11 matches of the season.
The 35-year old, regarded as one of the best central midfielders of his generation, spoke with FourFourTwo about his career, highlighting the disappointment of not being able to lift the most coveted trophy in English football that year as one of the few moments that he wishes to forget.
And now, the end is near… pic.twitter.com/XDCMztfQqu
— Xabi Alonso (@XabiAlonso) May 19, 2017
“I have few regrets, but not to win La Liga with Real Sociedad when we were so close; not to win the Premier League with Liverpool when we were so close; and not to win the Champions League with Bayern… we were so close,” Alonso said.
He also elaborated on the latter, the 2016/17 Champions League quarter final which saw Carlo Ancelotti’s much-fancied side stage a remarkable recovery after suffering a defeat to Real Madrid in the home leg, only to have their hopes dashed by a late surge from the eventual finalists.
“The quarter-final was quite an emotional game for me to go back to Madrid, but at the same missing the chance to play my last Champions League final,” Alonso said of the match.
“It broke my heart but that’s football, that’s life. You need to carry on, and that’s it,” he added.