Xabi Alonso BBC interview: On becoming a coach, Liverpool, Guardiola, Zidane and Bale

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Xabi Alonso’s glittering career saw him win the World Cup, the European Championship twice, the Champions League twice, four domestic league titles, four major domestic cup competitions and the Uefa Super CupWorld Cup winner, two-time Champions League winner and Liverpool legend Xabi Alonso will make his managerial debut on Saturday when he leads Real Sociedad B against Burgos in Segunda Division B, the third tier of Spanish football.In a wide-ranging interview with BBC World Service, Alonso talks about his incredible playing career and why he has returned to where it all started to begin his coaching career.Why start your managerial career at Real Sociedad?”It’s my roots. I was born 15 minutes from here – I live close by so all my childhood has been around Real Sociedad. My father was a player, later he was manager so I always have had a very strong link to the club. “I used to go to the stadium but later I was lucky enough to play for the first team and that was a dream come true at that moment. Being back here after so many years, almost 15 years, many memories are coming back to me. The surroundings, the facilities are fantastic and I’m really happy to be back. “I was here for four years and to be able to fight for the league title (in 2002-03 they finished second in La Liga, two points behind Real Madrid) with this club was like almost winning the World Cup or the Champions League with a top club. It was an amazing season, we were able to fight until the end. The atmosphere that year in the city and surrounding areas was unbelievable. We touched it but didn’t grab it strong enough to hold it.

Alonso shouts from the bench as head coach of the Real Sociedad B team during a friendly last month”It was always on my mind to come back. I didn’t know if it would be as a player or as a coach but I wanted to come back to San Sebastian to live and be part of the club. The club is doing a great job with the youth teams and really support the you

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