The coach of the future?  Xabi Alonso plays against FC Bayern

The coach of the future? Xabi Alonso plays against FC Bayern

For Leverkusen head coach Xabi Alonso, there will be an emotional reunion in the first duel with his former club FC Bayern. Many see him as the next Bayern coach.

When FC Bayern play Bayer Leverkusen tonight (5.30 p.m. in the t-online live ticker), the Munich team will meet an old acquaintance: Xabi Alonso, who took over as head coach in Leverkusen last October and has since returned the Werkself to the lead to success.

The Spaniard, who was world and European champion as a player and winner of the Champions League with Liverpool and Real Madrid, spent the last three years of his great career in Munich from 2014 to 2017. And still enjoys an excellent reputation and the highest esteem there.

“He was the smartest and best strategist I’ve ever seen in our midfield. In my opinion, we have to try to get him back to Munich at some point,” said ex-Bayern boss Karl-Heinz Rummenigge years ago 41 year olds.

“I always wanted him to be a coach”

“I always wished that one day he would become a coach,” he added in “Münchner Merkur” and “tz”. “I am convinced that he will go his own way as a coach, just as he did as a player.”

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Xabi Alonso: The then boss of FC Bayern said goodbye to the Spaniard in Munich. (Source: Huebner/Herkert)

At the first meeting since Alonso’s departure and the end of his career in 2017, the Munich team can get their own picture of how far he has come on his way. To a certain extent, Alonso also plays for Bayern. Because Rummenigge is not the only one who sees him as the coach of the future.

This week he was the only German team to lead Leverkusen to the quarter-finals of the Europa League and his team has been unbeaten in six competitive games. In the Bundesliga, Bayer is at least back in ninth place and is still fighting to catch up with the international places.

Effenberg: “Alonso has already left his signature”

“Xabi Alonso has strengthened the team bit by bit,” says t-online expert Stefan Effenberg, recalling the many injuries suffered by Patrik Schick, Florian Wirtz and Co., with whom Leverkusen initially struggled, even under the new coach . “Now they’re starting to play football like we expect from Leverkusen.” Effenberg’s conclusion: “Xabi Alonso has clearly left his mark at Leverkusen.”

Alonso himself said before the first reunion with his ex-club: “There is no room to be emotional.” He still has good memories of his time in Munich. “Bavaria was the last highlight of my career,” he said: “It was a special time from the first to the last day. My farewell as a professional footballer took place there, it was something special for all of us.”

Is a return to Munich somewhere in the back of his mind? “That’s not an issue for me. My future goes until Sunday. I’m not looking further ahead.”

Rummenigge reveals Bayern’s coaching plan with Alonso

However, Alonso’s return has recently been a concrete topic in Munich. As Rummenigge revealed, he and Uli Hoeneß, who was still president at the time, wanted to bring Xabi Alonso under head coach Niko Kovac (2018-2019) as an assistant to the record champions’ coaching team. “It didn’t work then,” said Rummenigge.

But Alsonso left a lasting impression on him in particular. “He was a gentleman footballer on the pitch – but also in real life,” he said. “Xabi is a highly intelligent person who has always been fun to discuss football with.”

He will never forget his first game at Schalke, said Rummenigge: “At the time he had 150 ball contacts and you thought he had been directing Bayern Munich for six years.”

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