Xabi Alonso confirmed the news that everyone had already feared on Thursday morning when he revealed he would be retiring from football at the end of the season.
The midfielder sent a very classy tweet with the words: “Lived it. Loved it. Farewell beautiful game”.
And it proves just how respected Alonso is in the game with the amount of tributes that appeared immediately on social media after his announcement.
The Spaniard has had quite an incredible career at Real Sociedad, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Spain winning three league titles, two Champions Leagues, two European Championships and a World Cup.
His greatest achievement - and his first major club trophy - came in the 2005 Champions League final with Liverpool. The Reds trailed 3-0 at half-time against a star-studded AC Milan side but brought it back to 3-3 in normal time before winning on penalties.
Alonso played a key role in that miraculous victory, scoring the second goal from a rebound after he missed a penalty.
And another man that played a big part on that night in Istanbul has replied to Alonso’s announcement on Twitter.
Jamie Carragher was heroic for Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool that night and tweeted Alonso: “Not a bad career Pass Master!”
‘Not a bad career’ is somewhat of an understatement for one of most successful players in the modern game.
But ‘pass master’ is spot on.
Alonso’s passing ability is recognised as one of the best in world football with him being able to ping a 40-yard pass to a teammate with ease.
Alonso will now be hoping his career gets the ending it deserves. His Bayern side are seven points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table and, after their 10-2 demolition of Arsenal in the Champions League, are through to the last eight of Europe’s biggest competition.
No football fan would begrudge Alonso a third consecutive Bundesliga title and a Champions League victory to round off his ‘not bad’ career.
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