Xabi Alonso: Return to roots with North American Soccer League

By Kasper Hjalmar Hansen, GMG Radio Xabi Alonso played at Arsenal from 2005 to 2009 Xabi Alonso says he is returning to his roots. Alonso, the Spanish midfielder who spent 12 years in the…

Xabi Alonso: Return to roots with North American Soccer League

By Kasper Hjalmar Hansen, GMG Radio

Xabi Alonso played at Arsenal from 2005 to 2009 Xabi Alonso says he is returning to his roots. Alonso, the Spanish midfielder who spent 12 years in the Premier League with Liverpool, Arsenal and Real Madrid, is playing for the New York Cosmos in the North American Soccer League. The 34-year-old told BBC Radio 5 live’s Hangar podcast: “What’s important is to be with my family and playing a sport I love.” Alonso, who has been coach of the US national team since 2008, also praised MLS for its toughness. It is a league that prepares every player to play in the World Cup and every player to play in any World Cup

Xabi Alonso “The MLS has always been the toughest league, no doubt, in the world – it’s all about defence,” he said. “If you leave your defender open with a pass that is 30 yards long, the opposition will see it and try to go after you and attack. “It is a league that prepares every player to play in the World Cup and every player to play in any World Cup. You have to take care of this league to get to the World Cup.” Two-time European Footballer of the Year Alonso admits his time in Spain left its own mark. “It’s true that I learned so much in England,” he said. “But at the same time, there are some situations that I cannot change. “For example, going from Liverpool to Barcelona as a big player when they have won 11 La Liga titles in 14 years. “But that is what happened and you learn from that. It was very important. “It is what I did in this job when I was coach of the national team. As a player and coach, you have to learn from the experience you have had and try to improve it.” You can hear Kasper Hjalmar Hansen’s full Hangar podcast interview with Xabi Alonso on Saturday, 7 September from 1330 BST on BBC Radio 5 live.

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