Xabi Alonso is a member of Liverpool folklore. .

Xabi Alonso says there is a 'distance' with fans at Liverpool

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As one of the scorers on that fateful night in Istanbul, Xabi Alonso's name is deeply embedded within Liverpool's folklore. He could walk around Merseyside and would be offered a drink by at least every other person. As a professional athlete, he would gratefully decline.

The Spanish midfielder spent five years playing at Anfield between 2004-2009 before leaving for Real Madrid, playing 143 games and becoming widely regarded as one of the most technically sound players the Premier League has ever seen.

Even now, at 34 years old, Liverpool fans would love to see him back in front of the Kop whether that be playing for or against them, but it appears Alonso has gone on to meet a following even more committed than them.

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He explained that Bayern Munich's fans are much closer to the club's players than at either Real Madrid or Liverpool. It is not meant as an insult to those fan bases but it doesn't come across as a compliment either.

He told ESPN: "Bayern is a big club and a big brand, but on a daily basis, it's a family club. You get to know the physios, the kit man, the chefs. It's also a club that's very close to the supporters. That proximity to the fans makes it special. That was surprising. In Liverpool and Madrid, there's more distance."

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Family club

Bayern Munich, of course, pride themselves on their commitment to fans. They have shunned the chance to make around £3million on match days like some of their Premier League counterparts, instead choosing to keep ticket prices exceptionally cheap.

The cheapest season ticket available at the stunning Allianz Arena costs just £109.65, less than Arsenal charge for a single match day ticket in some areas. That has allowed the club to remain a family with committed fans having a say in the way it is run.


Right man for the job

Alonso was quick to praise his former club for hiring a former Bundesliga manager in Jurgen Klopp. The German coach has made the quite the impression since arriving last October and fans are full of expectation ahead of his first full campaign in charge.

The retired Spain international, who keeps abreast of everything to do with Liverpool, has been very impressed with the impact Klopp has made in such a short space of time.

"It's important to find the right man," he said. "And I think that so far, in just a few months, he has embraced the Liverpool culture, what the club means, how the fans are, the passion you need to have to represent Liverpool. He's a special character, I think, and that's why he's loving it so far. Hopefully, in the new season he can turn those good feelings into something more."

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Steven Gerrard
Xabi Alonso
Real Madrid
Bayern Munich
Premier League
Daniel Sturridge

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