By Sedara Oluwadara
The former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso will begin his managerial career in earnest after being appointed head coach of Bayer Leverkusen.
The 40-year-old has been asked to take over from Gerardo Seoane, who departed after Tuesday night’s 2-0 Champions League defeat in Porto with the club sitting one from bottom in the Bundesliga.
Alonso, who won the Champions League with Liverpool and Real and three league titles during his time at Bayern Munich, has signed a deal that runs until June 2024.
The 114-times-capped Spain international, a world and European champion, told the club’s official website:
“I know Leverkusen from my time in Germany as an excellent club. Bayer have always had great players and I see a lot of quality in the squad too.
“In my discussions with the club it quickly became clear that, despite the difficult situation, ambitious goals are still being pursued in principle.
I am very excited about this task and I am sure that we will live up to this aim.
”Alonso, who retired as a player in 2017, has since cut his teeth in coaching with Real’s youth team and Real Sociedad’s B team.Bayer’s sporting director Simon Rolfes said:
“In Xabi Alonso, we have signed a coach who, as a player, was an absolute world-class professional for many years, an intelligent strategist and extremely successful in three of the most demanding European leagues.