Xabi Alonso Reveals One Player Blocked His Path to Joining Barcelona Over Real Madrid

Ryan Jones

​Former Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso has revealed he was set to move to Barcelona before the emergence of one player made him switch to the Spanish capital instead.

Liverpool wanted to sell Alonso back in 2009 and Pep Guardiola, who was manager of Barcelona at the time, had shown an interest and was keen on signing him. 

However with his Spainish teammate Sergio Busquets coming through the ranks at Barca at the same time it was likely that Guardiola would have started him over Alonso which lead to him switching to their biggest rivals.

Sergio Busquets
Sergio Busquets

Alonso told El Pais: "It happened not long before I left for Real Madrid. Liverpool told me that they wanted to sell me, [manager at that time, Rafael] Benitez too, and Pep showed an interest in my situation.

"He wanted to sign me because, as he told Rafa, I was the type of player who would fit his [playing] model. But he had doubts because Busquets had just come through and had the makings of a tremendous player.

"Guardiola chose him, and he wasn't proved wrong."

Spain v Chile: Group B - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Spain v Chile: Group B - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

It still worked out well for Alonso, who went onto to win La Liga, the Champions League, Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana. 

The midfielder also managed to link up with Guardiola when he joined Bayern Munich in 2014, winning four titles with the club so far, including back-to-back league titles which is set to extend to a third this season. 

Alonso is out of contract in the summer and at 35 years old he has already announced his retirement. 

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