Football: Xabi Alonso to retire in June – report
BERLIN (AFP) – Spanish World Cup winner and double European champion Xabi Alonso is set to retire at the end of the season when his Bayern Munich contract expires, a report in Germany said.
Leaders Bayern kick off the second half of the Bundesliga season at Freiburg on Friday in their bid for a fifth straight German league title with the 35-year-old Alonso poised to end his playing career in June.
It would mean the German giants could lose significant experience for next season with club captain and ex-Germany skipper Philipp Lahm also reportedly considering retiring in June to take over as Bayern s team manager.
According to Sport Bild, Alonso has already told club bosses he does not want to sign a contract extension.
Having joined Bayern for the 2014/15 season, Alonso is bidding to finish with a third straight German league title with Munich currently three points clear in the table.
Alonso has won 16 titles for clubs and country, including the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 and 2012 European championships with Spain, making 114 international appearances.
He retired from international duty in August 2014.
He has won the Champions league twice with two different clubs.
He started out at Real Sociedad and joined Liverpool in 2004 after being named Spanish player of the year in 2003.
He was part of the Liverpool side which famously won the 2005 Champions League title in a penalty shoot-out, coming back from 3-0 down against AC Milan in Istanbul.
After five years and 143 English Premier League appearances with Liverpool, Alonso joined Real Madrid in 2009.
He again won the Champions League in 2014 when current Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti steered Real to a 4-1 win over Atletico Madrid before Alonso transferred to Germany for the 2014/15 season.