Xabi Alonso says he realised what a special club Liverpool was on his first day at Anfield.
The Bayern Munich midfielder revealed that he would be retiring at the end of the season on Thursday, and has spoken about how special it was for him to play for Liverpool after joining in 2004.
Alonso arrived at Liverpool along with Luis García from Barcelona, marking the beginning of a new era at Anfield. New Liverpool manager Rafael Benítez sought to revolutionise the club and completely overhauled the squad, impressing his own management style and tactics upon the team, and Alonso was a big part of these plans.
Speaking on his time in Liverpool, Alonso said;
“My time in England was, for me, spectacular. I was 22, it was my first experience of living on my own and of living somewhere which wasn’t my home town,” Alonso said of Liverpool, who play Burnley on Sunday live on Sky Sports.
“Until that moment I was living with my parents and I knew everything in the neighbourhood.
“It was when I became an adult and I realised in that first year at Liverpool what a special club it is, with all the history and the tradition of Liverpool. From the first day you realise how big it is.”
“I was lucky enough to play in a fantastic final for Liverpool and to win that Champions League,” he said.
“Hopefully I will have another chance to win it this season.”