Xabi Alonso, the Liverpool legend, is rumored to step into the prestigious role of Real Madrid’s head coach next season. This unexpected move comes after Alonso’s impressive debut year as Bayer Leverkusen’s manager.
Liverpool Legend Xabi Alonso Poised to Replace Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid
From Liverpool Legend to Managerial Maestro
Xabi Alonso’s journey to the coaching pinnacle has been swift but remarkable. With less than a year of experience as a first-team manager, he assumed the helm at Bayer Leverkusen in October, following three years as the manager of Real Sociedad’s B team. Despite his relatively short managerial career, Real Madrid’s top brass seems unfazed by his lack of experience, making the 41-year-old their top choice to succeed Ancelotti.
A Return to Familiar Ground
Alonso’s association with Real Madrid runs deep. As a player, he spent six illustrious seasons at the Santiago Bernabeu, clinching LaLiga in 2012 and the Champions League two years later during Ancelotti’s first tenure as the club’s head coach. After retiring as a player following a stint with Bayern Munich, Alonso transitioned into management, starting with Real Madrid’s youth team before taking the reins of Real Sociedad’s B side.
A Successful Stint with Bayer Leverkusen
In his first year at Bayer Leverkusen, Alonso faced a daunting challenge as the team languished near the bottom of the Bundesliga table. However, he orchestrated a remarkable turnaround, guiding Leverkusen to a commendable sixth-place finish in the Bundesliga and a spot in the Europa League semi-finals. This season, Leverkusen has continued to impress, closely trailing Bayern Munich in the league standings.
A Commitment to Leverkusen
Despite interest from other clubs, including Tottenham, Alonso’s dedication to Leverkusen was evident when he signed a three-year contract extension in August, securing his tenure until the end of the 2025-26 season.
Ancelotti’s Impending Departure
Carlo Ancelotti, the current Real Madrid manager, is expected to step down at the end of the season. In July, it was announced that he would lead the Brazilian national team at the 2024 Copa America. Fernando Diniz has been appointed as the interim manager for Real Madrid while also coaching Fluminense.
Ancelotti on Xabi Alonso to Real links: “I have coached Xabi, he’s doing a great job at Bayer”. ⚪️🇪🇸— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) September 26, 2023
“He understands the game well, that’s why he’s very good coach”.
“I wish Xabi Alonso, Raul, Alvaro Arbeloa to become Real Madrid's manager one day. I love all of them”. pic.twitter.com/kPfhdVaBvB
Ancelotti’s Praise for Alonso
Ancelotti himself has showered praise on Xabi Alonso’s coaching capabilities. The Italian coach, who had Alonso as a player during his tenure at Real Madrid, expressed his support for Alonso’s potential appointment as the Real Madrid manager. Ancelotti said, “Xabi Alonso? I had him as a player. He’s doing very well, and I wish him to be the Real Madrid manager one day. I love him, just like Raul and Arbeloa.“
Alonso’s Affection for Ancelotti
Alonso, last season acknowledged Ancelotti’s influence on his career. He admitted that speaking about the rumors and possibilities of taking the Madrid job was difficult due to his deep connection with Ancelotti. Alonso expressed, “It is very difficult to speak about rumors and possibilities. I have a very great personal affection for Carlo for everything I experienced with him, for his personality because all the players who have played under him have kept a great memory.“
A Hopeful Message from Alonso
While acknowledging Ancelotti’s monumental task of leading Real Madrid, Alonso remained hopeful about the club’s prospects. He wished for the team to secure another Champions League victory under Ancelotti’s leadership, though Madrid made a semifinal exit. He said, “He is a very special coach in a very special club with a very big challenge, which is to be able to repeat the Champions League. Hopefully, they can achieve it. I would be very happy for him, but that’s as much as I can say.“
As the football world eagerly anticipates Xabi Alonso’s potential return to Real Madrid, only time will tell if this legendary player can make a seamless transition into the realm of coaching and lead one of the world’s most iconic football clubs back to glory.