Xabi Alonso's memorable moments at Liverpool, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich

When Xabi Alonso announced his plan to retire at the end of the season with a typically classy tweet, it was not only Bayern Munich fans who were moved to look back on their favourite moments for their club.

The 35-year-old midfielder had already etched his place in the history of both Liverpool and Real Madrid, having won the Champions League and many other trophies at those two clubs before moving to the Allianz Arena in 2014.
ESPN FC's Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich correspondents each pick the Spain legend's top moments for their respective clubs.
Anfield took to him early
Having made just four appearances for Liverpool since his move from Real Sociedad, Alonso was required to fill the void left by the injured Steven Gerrard for a home fixture against Norwich City in 2004. The Spaniard duly deputised and put in a man-of-the-match display in a 3-0 win, with Liverpool supporters witnessing the midfielder's incredible vision for the very first time.
Beat Harper from his own half

Alonso had previous form for scoring within his own half of the pitch after his goal at Luton Town in an FA Cup tie in January 2006, making the most of an empty net. Just months later, Alonso was at it again when Newcastle United goalkeeper Steve Harper was left embarrassed and beaten by the midfielder's 65-yard strike.
Broke Chelsea's long unbeaten home run
Alonso played a pivotal role in Liverpool's push for the Premier League title in the 2008-09 campaign, and his early goal -- via a deflection --  ended Chelsea's 86-match unbeaten streak at Stamford Bridge with the only goal of a 1-0 win during that campaign. 
Got better of Xavi and Iniesta in 2012 title-winning Clasico
The sweetest moment of Alonso's five years at Madrid was undoubtedly the Clasico at Barcelona in April 2012, when he was majestic as Jose Mourinho's side won 2-1 and all but assured themselves of the La Liga title. Alonso's international colleagues Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta had left him chasing shadows during his first three seasons at the club, but that night he ruled the midfield and famously celebrated afterward with his feet up looking down at the empty Camp Nou pitch he had just conquered.
Booking marred superb performance in Munich
Alonso was also superb as Carlo Ancelotti's Madrid eliminated Bayern -- a club they would both go on to join -- in the 2014 UCL semifinals, playing a covering role and helping launch the 'BBC' strikeforce which killed off Guardiola's side. Everything was going perfectly until, with the aggregate score at 4-0 and Madrid in full control of the tie, he was booked for fouling Bastian Schweinsteiger, meaning one of the sweetest nights of his career was also one of the most painful.
Suspended for Champions League final, but still played his part
Even though he could not play in the 2014 final, Alonso memorably strolled around the Estadio da Luz pitch prematch, looking every inch a rock star with his designer shades and take-away coffee. He then sealed his place in memories of that night by leaping out of the stand, still in his sharp suit and expensive shoes, to race madcap down the sideline and join in the celebrations after Gareth Bale's clinching extra-time goal. 
Alonso enjoyed a remarkable debut for Bayern in August 2014. Signed by Pep Guardiola only a few days earlier, Alonso hadn't even got a club locker, let alone met the majority of the team. This didn't prevent from starting his career in Germany with a man-of-the-match performance in Gelsenkirchen -- with Guardiola soon stating "we cannot play without Alonso" as his compatriot coordinated midfield matters with his customary aloof precision.
Passing Meister
Barely a few weeks on from his memorable debut, Alonso racked up a new league record with an amazing 204 touches of the ball against Cologne as Guardiola's passing machine dominated the Bundesliga.
Rolled back the years with double vs. Leipzig
In his third season at Bayern, Alonso is enjoying his most prolific goal-scoring campaign ever with three goals -- starting all but four of Bayern's Bundesliga outings as they march to a fifth consecutive title. His most impressive performance this season came in the league leaders' last game before the winter break, against upstarts RB Leipzig. Alonso rolled back the years with a sumptuous display, scoring his first ever goal for the Bavarians from inside the penalty box as Bayern laid down a marker against their only challengers with a dominant 3-0 win. Alonso rampaged forward to double Bayern's lead on the night after midfield partner Arturo Vidal had caught Naby Keita in possession.
Source: All Football

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