Xabi Alonso: From Midfield Maestro to Coaching Success

Carlo Ancelotti’s recent win against Real Sociedad on matchday five of La Liga marked a significant milestone as he became the manager with the second-most wins in Real Madrid’s history, surpassing the record of Zinedine Zidane. However, amidst Ancelotti’s success, speculation about his contract situation and potential links with the Brazil national team job has caused uncertainty in the Spanish capital.

In recent years, the return of club legends as managers has become a prominent theme in football, with Zidane, Pep Guardiola, and Diego Simeone enjoying considerable success in La Liga. Real Madrid is no exception, with legends like Zidane, Raul, and Alvaro Arbeloa involved in coaching roles at the club.

One former player who has been making waves in Germany is Xabi Alonso. Known for his illustrious career with top clubs in England, Spain, and Germany, Alonso played a pivotal role for Real Madrid between 2009 and 2014, winning numerous trophies. After completing his UEFA Elite coaching course, Alonso returned to Real Madrid in 2018, initially coaching the U14s team.

Alonso’s managerial journey began with overseeing Real Sociedad’s reserve side, where he achieved a remarkable promotion to the second tier of Spanish football. His passion for learning and understanding the coaching aspects of the game was evident throughout his playing career.

This season, Alonso has been making headlines in the Bundesliga as he leads Bayer Leverkusen. Despite facing heavyweight opponents like RB Leipzig, Borussia Monchengladbach, and Bayern Munich, his team has shown resilience and currently sits atop the Bundesliga table. Alonso’s side plays fast, exciting football and boasts a dynamic attacking style that yields results.

One of the key aspects of Alonso’s coaching philosophy is his emphasis on dominating possession and playing through the lines from defense to attack. His tactical approach involves a 3-4-3 formation that transitions into a 5-4-1 or 5-2-3 defensively. This balance allows his team to create space and operate effectively both centrally and on the flanks.

Alonso’s coaching brilliance is further exemplified by his team’s excellence in transitions. Leverkusen excels in winning the ball back and swiftly transitioning from defense to attack, emphasizing counterattacks as a crucial feature of their gameplay.

Alonso’s strategic vision and clear philosophy have elevated Bayer Leverkusen’s performances and positioned them as potential contenders for future success.

As a player, Alonso was known for his combination of steel and silk on the pitch, and now, as a coach, he is emerging as one of the favorites to succeed Carlo Ancelotti as Real Madrid’s manager in the long term. His understanding of the game, tactical acumen, and success in Germany suggest a promising future in coaching, making him a compelling candidate for Real Madrid’s leadership role in the future.

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