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Xabi Alonso names his favourite young English player

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Football is going to be losing a class act when Xabi Alonso makes the final appearance of his career against Freiburg on Saturday.

The Spaniard is preparing to bow out after spending nearly two decades at the top of the game and he will certainly be missed.

Alonso, 35, announced his decision to retire back in March so has had plenty of time to get his head around saying a fond farewell.

"I am at peace with myself. When I have time to reflect, I know the memories will be good ones," Alonso told The Telegraph.

Alonso will be familiar to most Premier League fans for the five years he spent at Liverpool between 2004-09, where he was famously part of the Champions League-winning side in his first season at the club.

The hustle and bustle of the English top flight didn't necessarily seem a natural fit for the Spaniard but he quickly clocked on to what was required to be successful after his debut against Bolton.

He added: “I remember [after] 15, 20 minutes I think it was a Kevin Nolan tackle, a ‘welcome to the Premier League tackle'.

“Then there was [Jussi] Jaaskelainen from his kicks, not even trying to pass, just long balls up to Kevin Davies. I said to myself, ‘This is different. OK, Xabi, you want to make it here, become a pro with Liverpool you need to learn fast.’”

Bolton Wanderers v Liverpool

Alonso still regularly keeps an eye on his former side's progress and the goings on in the Premier League.

The ex-Real Madrid star also revealed that Eric Dier is his favourite young English player coming through the ranks right now.

"Asked to name his favourite young English player, he instantly alights on the versatility and composure of Eric Dier." Matt Dickinson's piece for The Telegraph continues.

You can see why the Tottenham midfielder would appeal to Alonso.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester United - Premier League

For an England international, Dier goes against the stereotypes of a traditional English defensive midfielder.

Technically gifted and versatile enough to play in defence too, Alonso is not the only person the 23-year-old has impressed.

According to The Sun, Dier has had his head turned from Manchester United and could move up north at the end of the season.

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Topics:
Xabi Alonso
Football
Eric Dier

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