Former Spain international Xabi Alonso has taken his first step into football management, having been named as head coach of Real Sociedad B.
The ex-Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder retired in 2017 and had been working as a coach in Los Blancos’ academy during the 2018/19 season.
What is next for Xabi Alonso? Five key things to know…
- Former Liverpool midfielder Alonso retired from football in 2017.
- Since then, the Spaniard has been working on getting his coaching badges.
- In the 2018/19 season, Alonso coached one of Real Madrid’s youth teams.
- And now he has joined Real Sociedad as head coach of their B team, signing a two-year deal.
- Alonso has previously stated his desire to manager Real Sociedad, his boyhood club.
But now he has taken a step closer to becoming a first-team manager, replacing Aitor Zulaika as manager of Real Sociedad B, who play in the third level of Spanish football.
A statement on the club’s official website read: “Real Sociedad have reached an agreement with Xabi Alonso to be head coach of Sanse for the next two seasons.
“The Tolosa-born coach, who joins from Real Madrid, returns home to be in charge of the txuri urdin reserve team.
“Aitor Zulaika will not continue as Sanse’s head coach. Sanse’s new technical staff will be announced in the coming days.’
Although Alonso will be remembered most prominently for his roles at Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, the former midfielder started his career with Real Sociedad, making 39 appearances for the club’s B team.
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Alonso’s dream Real Sociedad return
Though starting with the B team, Alonso’s return to Real Sociedad plays into the Spaniard’s previously stated ideal career path.
Speaking in February 2018, before he made the move to Real Madrid’s academy, Alonso spoke of a desire to one day manage his boyhood club.
He said: “If one day I decide to become a coach, I’d like to return to Real Sociedad and do the best I can for the club as I did when I was a player.
“But I still haven’t decided yet what path I will follow.”