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Xabi Alonso Had A Mature Reaction To Being Booted By Rafa Benitez At Liverpool

Xabi Alonso Had A Mature Reaction To Being Booted By Rafa Benitez At Liverpool
By Gavin Cooney Updated

Football's greatest Belle and Sebastian fan, Xabi Alonso, announced his retirement from football this month, and had been back doing press with Liverpool media outlets to mark the occasion. He has been talking to The Anfield Wrap and, most recently, the Liverpool Echo about his time at Anfield, with the issue of his near-departure in 2008 a constant talking point.

After two superb opening seasons at Anfield, Alonso's form dropped off somewhat at Liverpool in seasons three and four, to the extent that he was not an automatic starter in the big Champions League games that defined Benitez' reign: he was an unused sub in the 2-0 win against Inter Milan in 2008, for example. (This came after a supposed falling-out with Benitez over missing the first leg over the birth of his child).

Alonso was nearly sold in preference for Gareth Barry in the summer of 2008, before staying on to help Liverpool to their record-high points total in the Premier League and leaving for Real Madrid the following summer. Liverpool earned £30 million from his sale and promptly fell apart: they finished a lowly seventh in the league, and the ultimate indignity followed: Rafa Benitez was sacked for Roy Hodgson.

Alonso spoke to the Echo about Benitez' decision, and was impressively mature about the decision, saying that he understood these tough choices are what defines the great managers. He also revealed he nearly joined Juventus and Arsenal, but for both clubs to refuse to come up with an extra 3 million quid to confirm his signature. Watch it below:

Xabi Alonso Arsenal

Alonso is going to make a very fine manager indeed.

See Also: Keith Andrews Gives Extremely Revealing Explanation As To What Went Wrong At Euro 2012

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