Bayern midfielder Alonso set to retire

Indo Asian News Service

Munich, March 9 (IANS) Bayern Munich defensive midfielder Xabi Alonso on Thursday announced that he will retire from professional football at the end of the current season.

According to a Sky Sports report, the 35-year-old confirmed the news, which had been rumoured for the last two months, on social media.

"It wasn't an easy decision to make, but I believe it's the right time," Alonso, a former Liverpool player, was quoted as saying.

"I always thought it would be better to quit sooner rather than later. I still feel good, but I believe this is the right moment."

"I wanted to end my career still at the highest level, and Bayern is the highest level. I'm incredibly proud and happy to play for FC Bayern and to be a part of this family."

Alonso joined Liverpool in 2004 after coming through the ranks of Real Sociedad. His first season at Anfield culminated in the miraculous Istanbul comeback against AC Milan that secured a Champions League trophy.

He also won an FA Cup, a UEFA Super Cup and a Community Shield with the Reds and was at Anfield until 2009, when he moved on to Real Madrid, where he won a second Champions League and a La Liga title.

Alonso moved to Bayern in 2014 and helped the club claim Bundesliga titles in his first two seasons.