Former Spanish star Xabi Alonso has taken over as the new head coach of Bayer Leverkusen

Former Spanish star Xabi Alonso has taken over as the new head coach of Bayer Leverkusen

Xabi Alonso, a former midfielder for Real Madrid and Liverpool, has been appointed as Bayer Leverkusen’s new head coach, taking over for Gerardo Seoane, who was fired by the Bundesliga team on Wednesday.

Alonso, 40, has agreed to terms with the club until June 2024. In his first top-level coaching job, he takes over a team that is second-to-last after eight games in the German season.

“From my time in Germany, I know Leverkusen as an outstanding club,” stated Alonso, who spent the final three years of his playing career with Bayern Munich.

“I think the current team has a lot of quality, and Bayer has always had fantastic players. This task thrills me much.”

As a player, Alonso helped Spain win the World Cup in 2010 and two European Championships. He also won the Champions League with both Liverpool and Real Madrid.

 

In the 2005 Champions League final, Alonso equalized for Liverpool, forcing the game into extra time, which the Reds won on penalties.

He was in charge of Real Sociedad’s reserve squad in his home Basque region for three years until May, when they were promoted to Spain’s second tier for the first time in 60 years before being demoted at the end of the season.

“We have signed a coach with Xabi Alonso who was an absolute world-class professional as a player, an astute strategist, and extremely successful in no less than three of the most demanding European leagues,” Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes stated.

Following Tuesday’s 2-0 Champions League loss at Porto, Leverkusen confirmed Seoane’s resignation.

Despite bringing the team to third-place finish in the Champions League last season, Leverkusen had struggled this season under the Swiss coach.

They were ousted in the first round of the German Cup by third-tier SV Elversberg and have only won once in the Bundesliga.

Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro stated on Sunday that he expects “rapid results” from Seoane, whose team was crushed 4-0 by Bayern Munich on Friday.

Former Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel, as well as Adi Huetter and Domenico Tedesco, had been mentioned as possible Seoane replacements.

Alonso retired from Bayern in 2017, after winning the Bundesliga in each of his three seasons there.

He was originally linked with the managerial role at Borussia Moenchengladbach in March 2021, but instead signed a one-year deal in Spain.

On Saturday, Alonso will take charge of Leverkusen in the Bundesliga against Schalke.

»Former Spanish star Xabi Alonso has taken over as the new head coach of Bayer Leverkusen«

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