What Xabi Alonso has said amid Liverpool 'plan' as Bayer Leverkusen dream ends

Xabi Alonso looks worried during the Europa League final between Bayer Leverkusen and Atalanta
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Xabi Alonso's dreams of leading Bayer Leverkusen to a sensational unbeaten treble this season are over. Unfortunately for him, he fell at the same hurdle Liverpool did.

Atalanta became the first team to beat Leverkusen this season as the Italian side won the Europa League final. A sensational Ademola Lookman hat-trick proved to be the difference, and ended Leverkusen's dreams of creating history this season.

The German side can still add the DFB-Pokal to its Bundesliga triumph on Saturday to cap off what has been a remarkable first full season in charge for Alonso. The former midfielder has certainly earned some admirers with his exploits.

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Alonso was heavily linked with succeeding Jürgen Klopp at Liverpool earlier in the year, before confirming his decision to stay at Leverkusen for at least another season.

With Arne Slot now confirmed as the Reds’ new head coach, Liverpool will hope it won’t be on the lookout for a new manager for a while. When the time comes though, Alonso may well find himself back in the picture.

And the former midfielder has not ruled out the possibility. Despite committing his future to Leverkusen, Alonso has left the door open to a move to the Premier League at some point.

"You never know, at the moment I have enough on my plate to think about,” he said last month.

"But I'm still young as a coach and for sure it's a nice one (thought). I speak regularly with some colleagues who coach in the Premier League and they know that each game is really tough to prepare and to play.”

Alonso is clearly an ambitious coach, and according to the German outlet Abendzeitung, he has mapped out a long-term career path that includes Liverpool. The 42-year-old is said to want to coach the Reds, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid at some point during his managerial career.

Not only that, but he has made it clear in the past that he eventually wants a return to Anfield. Speaking in an interview with talkSPORT back in 2018, he said: "Yes for sure, I have dreamt of that, but first I have to prove myself and prepare.

"If I decide somewhere along the way to take my chances as a manager, my link, my commitment, my passion with Liverpool is there. Why not? We will see if we can cross paths in our ways.” says: It’s a shame that Alonso will not lead Leverkusen to an unbeaten treble this season now. If nothing else, it would have been the most remarkable of stories, given where the club was when he arrived as manager.

Nevertheless, the defeat to Atalanta shouldn’t detract from what is a remarkable achievement. No doubt Alonso will carve out a successful career as a manager, and who knows, a return to Liverpool could be in his future at some point.