Xabi Alonso predicts the Champions League's main contenders

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There is a good reason why no team has been able to retain the Champions League.

Europe's top prize is the one every manager and player wants to add to their repertoire and the one they always regret missing out on after retiring.

But over the last few years, it has become a competition seemingly dominated by Spanish teams.

For three consecutive seasons, the eventual winners have come from La Liga and it is now up to the rest of Europe to end Spain's reign.

Xabi Alonso, who is aiming to win the tournament with his third different club, now plays for one of those expected to be in contention who are not Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid.

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Bayern Munich reached the semi-finals in each of Pep Guardiola's three years in charge and have started the current campaign in similarly formidable form under Carlo Ancelotti.

However, Alonso thinks that this year's tournament is as open as it has ever been and when asked who he predicts will be in the running, the Spaniard backed a couple of outsiders from Italy and England to challenge.

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"Well I won't be very original but I feel the Spanish teams will be there along with Juventus and Manchester City," Alonso told Marca.

Although he didn't outrightly support his current club's claims, we are safely assuming the 34-year-old will be feeling pretty confident about the German champions' chances too.


Despite losing Paul Pogba and Alvaro Morata, Juventus have recruited well in the summer and are Serie A's best hope of challenging by a distance.

Alonso also knows first-hand the miracles Guardiola can perform and given their start to the season, it is no surprise the Spaniard fancies Man City to be a threat too.

As well as playing a pivotal part in Liverpool's heroic comeback in 2005, Alonso was also a key man in Real Madrid's long-awaited tenth European triumph in 2014.

Alonso was suspended for the final against Atletico, however, his reaction to Gareth Bale's goal in extra-time - where he jumped out of the stand and ran down the touchline to join his teammates - remains one of the most iconic memories of La Decima.

And the midfielder still recalls the moment fondly.

He added: "Yes, I remember, with football I am like a volcano, I feel so alive and when Gareth [Bale] scored the goal that passion was unleashed, I did what all Madrid fans would have liked to do."

Clarence Seedorf is currently the only man to win the Champions League with three different clubs but if Alonso has his way, the Spaniard could very well join him once the final in Wales is played out in May.

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Real Madrid
Manchester City
Xabi Alonso
UEFA Champions League
Bayern Munich

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