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Bayern Munich

Xabi Alonso gets first senior role as Bayer Leverkusen manager as Gerardo Seoane is fired


Former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso has landed his first senior role in management after being confirmed as the new Bayer Leverkusen boss on Wednesday afternoon.

Alonso, 40, was part of the Spain team that won the World Cup in 2010 and is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders of his generation.

Since his retirement he has worked with Real Madrid’s youth team and, until recently, as the B team manager for his boyhood club Real Sociedad.

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30/09/2022 AT 17:56

He now takes over a struggling Leverkusen side who sit 17th in the table, with Gerardo Seoane fired for poor results after leading the team to a third-place finish last term.

“I know Leverkusen as an excellent club from my time in Germany,” said Alonso, who played with Bayern from 2014 to 2017 after leaving Real Madrid.

“Leverkusen has always had great players, I also see a lot of quality in the current squad. This task excites me a lot.

“In my discussions with the club it quickly became clear that, despite the currently difficult situation, ambitious goals are still being pursued in principle.”

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Leverkusen have taken just five points from eight games in the Bundesliga and lost in the first round of the German Cup to third-tier Elversberg.

In the Champions League they have taken three points from three Group B games.

Alonso took over Real Sociedad’s B team in 2019 and secured a fifth-place finish in Segunda Division B in his first season. The next year they went one better and finished top to earn promotion to Segunda Division for the first time in 59 years.

Alonso left in the summer after the team finished 19th in the second division.

Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes said: “With Xabi Alonso, we have signed a coach who was an absolute world-class professional as a player, an intelligent strategist and extremely successful in no less than three of the most demanding European leagues.”

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