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“Natural authority” – Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola and more on Xabi Alonso as a manager


Xabi Alonso is set to be named as Borussia Monchengladbach’s new head coach, with the Liverpool legend reportedly in place to take over at the end of the season.

Reports in Germany claim the Spaniard will replace Marco Rose, who is moving to Borussia Dortmund this summer.

After spells coaching Real Madrid ’s development side and Real Sociedad B, Alonso is now hoping to take his first steps as a top-flight coach.

He was widely regarded as one of the finest midfield players of his generation, with spells at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich following his five-year stint on Merseyside.

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In the process, he has played under some of the most well-known names in management, many of whom have earmarked the 39-year-old as a future coach.

Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola was confident that his former player would succeed as a manger

The Manchester City boss brought Alonso to Bayern Munich and quickly recognised his talents on the pitch, labelling him ‘as one of the best midfielders he had ever seen’.

And after his retirement he confidently predicted that his former player would succeed in the duout.

He said: “He will come back soon as a manager. I bet, wherever he wants, he will become a manager and will be good.

“He understands the game and has curiosity to understand the game. He knew during the weeks what we would have to do to win the next games, to beat them. He already had the curiosity to know.”

Jose Mourinho

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Jose Mourinho’s cryptic statement hinted at his belief in Alonso

Reports suggested that Mourinho was targeting Alonso as his assistant when he was linked with a sensational return to Real Madrid.

Mourinho made Alonso a key part of his Los Blancos side that won the Champions League in 2014.

As is the norm with ‘the Special One’ he was cryptic after Alonso’s retirement, but did hint that he would remain in the game.

“The end of one career and the beginning of another. With the same success with the same dignity. Football needs Men.”

Carlo Ancelotti

Ancelotti attempted to hire Alonso as his assistant at Bayern Munich

The Italian was the manager in place at Bayern when Alonso officially hung up his boots in 2017.

Ancelotti was openly disappointed to lose him as a player, but was another to anticipate a transition into the dugout.

“He wants to go on vacation, but he has the qualities and the experience to become a fantastic coach in the future.”

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He also tried to give him a helping hand into coaching, admitting he tried to make him his assistant at Bayern.

Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

Bayern chief exec Rummenigge identified Alonso as a future coach

Similarly to Ancelotti, Bayern’s CEO was keen to see Alonso return to the Allianz in a coaching capacity, claiming players ‘followed him’.

“I hope that one day he returns to Bayern Munich,” Rummenigge told Kicker. “Xabi radiates a natural authority, he had fantastic coaches and he speaks several languages.

“He is an extraordinary person. He was a general on the pitch and all the players followed him. The ball was drawn to him and he distributed it as if by magic. He could slow the play down or speed it up. Xabi thought quickly and played quickly.”

Jamie Carragher

Carragher earmarked Alonso as a future Liverpool manager

The Liverpool stalwart spent countless training sessions with Alonso and recognised him as a potential Reds manager of the future.

“Great guy, loves football, one of the best,” Carragher said on Alonso. “I speak to him, exchange texts. He’s going to be a coach, he will be a great manager I think. People always talk about Stevie at Liverpool, and the way he’s going at Rangers, it’s inevitable.

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“I think there is a chance that Xabi Alonso can become the manager of Liverpool in the future.”

Steven Gerrard

Liverpool in training at melwood. Captain Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso
Gerrard eyed Alonso as a potential assistant should he ever take the Liverpool job

The Rangers boss is regularly touted as a potential replacement for Jurgen Klopp when he decided to call it a day.

But the former captain, after leaving the club in 2016, suggested that his former midfield partner would likely be on the touchline with him.

At the time, he said: “If, totally hypothetically, I was going to become Liverpool manager one day I know who I’d love to have as my assistant: Xabi Alonso or Jamie Carragher.

“They are very intelligent, have a deep knowledge of football and are special men. If I had smart people around me, and the right coaching team behind me, I like to think I could succeed as a manager.”

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