With one understated tweet on Thursday morning, Xabi Alonso started the countdown to the end of his playing career.
It had been coming, of course. The 35-year-old was widely expected to follow Bayern teammate Philipp Lahm’s lead in hanging up his boots at the end of the season, but it still no less sad to see a legend of the game, that has won almost everything there is to win, call time on his playing career.
Lived it. Loved it.
Farewell beautiful game. pic.twitter.com/1aSN7GGNzZ
— Xabi Alonso (@XabiAlonso) March 9, 2017
Since Alonso’s announcement, tributes have been pouring hin from just about everyone the midfielder has come into contact with. His former clubs, with whom he won a combined three league titles, four domestic cups and two Champions Leagues, led the way in saying goodbye to the legendary playmaker:
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) March 9, 2017
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) March 9, 2017
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 9, 2017
— Real Sociedad Fútbol (@RealSociedad) March 9, 2017
Alonso’s teammates (current and former), meanwhile, also took to social media to pay tribute to the Spaniard, including a gushing post from former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard with whom Alonso won the Champions League in 2005:
Xavi you are pure quality . A class act on the pitch and a gentlemen off it . It was a pleasure to play alongside you and I missed you every day from the moment you left the reds . Congratulations on your perfect career and good luck to you and your family In the future . #legend ???❤️ @xabialonso
A post shared by Steven Gerrard (@stevengerrard) on
— Thiago Alcantara (@Thiago6) March 9, 2017
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) March 9, 2017
— Franck Ribéry (@FranckRibery) March 9, 2017
— Philipp Lahm (@philipplahm) March 9, 2017
Contigo aprendí a amar este deporte. Gracias por tantos buenos momentos / I learnt with you to love football. Thnx for a lot of good moments pic.twitter.com/DaHdEJZMH1
— Fernando Torres (@Torres) March 9, 2017
“The Pass Master” announces his retirement. Good luck my friend! Thanks for all the great passes??you always found me @XabiAlonso ????
— John Arne Riise (@JARiiseOfficial) March 9, 2017
— Pepe Reina (@PReina25) March 9, 2017
And we did love watching you play !!
Gracias por tanto Xabi !! https://t.co/19CP3FIu6c
— Luis Garcia (@LuchoGarcia14) March 9, 2017
— Sami Khedira (@SamiKhedira) March 9, 2017
— Djibril Cisse (@DjibrilCisse) March 9, 2017
Top quality ?⚽ All the best Xabi https://t.co/bag4yq4GcB
— Neil Mellor (@NeilMellor33) March 9, 2017
Como convertirte en una leyenda del fútbol mundial en solo cuatro pasos. pic.twitter.com/75pVHGdUKk
— Álvaro Arbeloa (@aarbeloa17) March 9, 2017
With another German domestic double on the horizon, along with perhaps another Champions League, Alonso could yet still bow out on an extremely high note.
Read More About: Bayern Munich, Bundesliga, Champions League, euro 2008, Euro 2012, jamie carragher, John Arne Riise, La Liga, Liverpool, Luis Garcia, pepe reina, Premier League, Real Madrid, Real Sociedad, spain, Steven Gerrard, world cup 2010, xabi alonso