Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso has revealed how he still follows the fortunes of his old club Liverpool, and is determined to bring his son up as an Anfield supporter.
The former Reds star who left Anfield for the Bernabeu in 2009 reflects fondly on his five year spell upon Merseyside, and admits he still retains a soft-spot for Kenny Dalglish's side.
"I am still a Liverpool fan and will be forever, absolutely," Alonso beamed.
"The things that I have lived and the experiences I had during those five years are deep in my heart and the passion and respect I had for the club and its supporters are still the same.
"Hopefully I can transmit to my son what Liverpool Football Club means and how special it is, as he was born in the city and he will visit it in the future."
Alonso is expected to feature for Madrid in tomorrow's Champions League quarter-final first leg encounter with Tottenham Hotspur – the side who currently edge Liverpool in the race for the final qualification place in the Barclays Premier League ahead of next season's competition.
And having won the Champions League with Liverpool during his time at Anfield, Alonso believes that Liverpool belong among Europe's elite – and hopes they will be playing there next season.
The 29-year-old Spaniard believes there is good reason for optimism amongst Reds fans, after their recent upturn in fortunes since the return of King Kenny in January.
"I think Liverpool have regained their confidence and despite being knocked out of the Europa League (by Braga) their form in the Premier League has improved a lot.
"I think they can rebuild a competitive team, especially as it looks like there is now stability at the club again. Now they have to think about the sport side and create a plan for the following years."