that when he had a problem at Barça, the coaches he had had throughout his career whispered solutions in his ear.
Xabi with 'b', Alonso, the fashionable coach of the Bundesliga, has the best squad of whisperers in the world, cultivated by midfielders from the League, the Premier and the Bundesliga:
Ancelotti, Guardiola, Mourinho, Pellegrini , Benítez, Toshack
However, the man from Tolosa took Bayer Leverkusen penultimate in October, and has put him five points behind Europe trying to look like a coach he never had,
: "He has charisma, you see it at the end of the games in the relationship he has with his players (...) Having that is gold for a coach."
Alonso says that he had "the dream career", because he played in the team of his hometown (Real Sociedad), "in the best team in England (Liverpool), in the best team in Spain (Real Madrid) and in the best team of Germany (Bayern Munich)”, not to mention the World Cup.
Now, at 41, he is laying the groundwork for the same career as a coach.
Four years ago Xabi began to warm up benches.
Real Madrid's Infantil A
, then with the Real Sociedad subsidiary, until
's success with the first team revealed to him that he was not going to reach the elite along the same road he arrived as a player.
That is why he appeared last October in Leverkusen, to take charge of a squad that had only won one in eight games.
"The fact of having known different championships allowed me to adapt quickly," explains Alonso.
Things, however, did not start very well.
Although he thrashed Shalke 4-0 in his debut, the following were defeats against Eintracht (5-1), Leipzig (2-0) and a draw against Wolfsburg (2-2).
In the Champions League he did not fare much better, draws against Atlético (2-2) and Bruges (0-0).
Just enough to secure the pass to the Europa League.
That did not dampen the faith of the club's sporting director, Simon Rolfes.
"Believe me, Xabi has enormous strength, it shows in his way of directing from the wing, but above all in every training session,
he is the man who will fire back at us
," he told
Alonso did not look so bad either, as he later acknowledged on the Bundesliga website: «I would not say that the situation was dramatic when I arrived, but it was difficult, dramatic it would have been to be like this in April (...) The energy and confidence of the team was low.
I tried to make the players believe in themselves again.
I invited those who had not played before to prove themselves
In fact, he took advantage of the little hand that Eintracht put into him to turn it into a kind of motivation: "I told the team that this was the perfect example of how bad things can go, and that from there we could only improve."
Xabi Alonso directing his team, which he has brought out of relegation.@bayer04fussball
Now he no longer knows what it is to lose since October 29.
Five wins in a row with 14 goals for three against.
In the last game, last week against Bochum, the team achieved a record
: they finished
409 days without scoring a penalty,
they ran more kilometers than the rest of the season, with 125.8;
and avoided, because of the poor baggage accumulated at the start of the championship, completing the worst first round of the last 17 years.
In the German press he explained his secret, which he praised about Klopp just before becoming a coach, but without naming Klopp: "The players need to follow you, believe in what you do, that they improve with your help."
They themselves recognized it, like the German midfielder
"There is a different energy since Xabi has been with us", whom he asked, as he himself explained, to put "energy on the field, because if a player does it, a second and a third will also do it ».
Bayern Leverkusen is one of those examples of teams for which the World Cup break has come in handy, especially if they needed to give time to a new coach, or make signings.
, Fran García, and even went so far as to talk to him, but Real Madrid, seeing the interest of their former midfielder, decided to exercise their purchase option.
However, he has been able to recover his great star, the German international
, after breaking the crusader.
The midfielder, only 19 years old, is the extension of Alonso in the field.
A culé who had posters of
Messi, Dembélé and Aubameyang
in the room with the Barça shirt, under the orders of a coach who has gone down in the history of Real Madrid.
Wirtz is the one with whom he talks the most in training, with whom he believes that the team can go one step further, and with whom he feels most identified as a former footballer: «For players like Florian you have to create opportunities so they can make a difference .
If Florian doesn't touch the ball in the right position, it will be difficult.
What matters is what happens before he receives the ball ».
According to the criteria of The Trust Project