Having made his name in three of the Top Leagues across Europe, having won every trophy available to a professional footballer, Xabi Alonso is one of the best midfielders of his generation. His signature playing style meant that teams were built around him, he was the midfield general in the true sense of the term. Xabi Alonso wove magic with his ball control, passing and incredible long-rangers for Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. We take a look at the Top 5 goals by the Spaniard.
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5. Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona, 2011-12 Super Copa de Espania
El Classicos are always special, and make that a two-legged Final of a domestic Cup competition – we have war on the agenda. The 2012 SuperCopa Final was quite the deal as Real Madrid edged past arch-rivals Barcelona 3-2, but it was a stunning strike from Alonso that caught the eye. He scored from a Pepe back pass, one that left Barca goalie Victor Valdes stranded.
4. Liverpool v AC Milan, 2004-05 Champions League Final
One of the greatest Champions League Finals ever, Liverpool went down 3-0 in the first half only to recover in the second half, scoring 3 and eventually winning the game on penalties. With nerves the talk of the night, Xabi Alonso scored possibly the toughest penalty of his life as his shot was initially saved by Dida, then squeezed in off the rebound from an almost impossible angle. Nerves of steel, surely.
3. Spain v Republic of South Africa, 2009 Confederations Cup
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In a third place play-off between Spain and South Africa, the score was 2-2 by virtue of a late South African goal as the game went into injury time. Xavi Alonso scored the free kick of his life to hand Spain the victory in a nervy affair as he delivered from 30 yards out, a free kick that curled and curled to beat the keeper, the wall but found its way into the back of the net.
2. Liverpool v Arsenal, 2004-05 Premier League
London versus Merseyside is always a feisty affair and the match up in 2004 had the added spice of a thunderous Xabi Alonso strike from just outside the box. The goal came off a brilliant switch of play and wonderful layoff by Steven Gerard. Such was the power behind the shot that even five goalkeepers in front of the Arsenal goal wouldn’t have been able to stop it from going in.
1. Liverpool v Newcastle United, 2005-06 Premier League
Anfield was treated to a delightful long ranger against Newcastle United as Alonso caught out the opposition goalkeeper off his line and pulled the trigger from his own half. A goal like this requires extreme game awareness, tremendous skill and wonderful execution – Alonso’s shot had it all. The Reds went on to win the game 2-0.