Peter Crouch reveals how good Xabi Alonso was in Liverpool


Peter Crouch revealed how good a Xabi Alonso player was when the two retired stars were together in Liverpool.

Alonso was one of the heroes of Liverpool’s Miracle of Istanbul Champions League triumph in 2005 – when they won the penalty shootout after the midfielder completed the return of his team of 3 -0, shooting the rebound home after seeing a kick saved by AC Milan goalkeeper Dida.

Known for his sublime assists and impressive long-term goals, the Basque ace also won the FA Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Community Shield with Liverpool, before leaving in 2009 after five years at Anfield.

He joined Real Madrid and cemented his reputation as one of the best midfielders in the world, enjoying huge success in a Spanish team that dominated world football, and also pursuing a trophy-laden spell with the Bayern Munich.

Now Crouch, who played with Alonso in Liverpool from 2005 to 2008, hailed his former teammate as “class” – and recalled the moment when Steven Gerrard was about to whip up the Spaniard until that he scores an amazing goal.

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso scores third goal
Xabi Alonso shoots in the roof to top Liverpool’s astonishing 3-0 comeback in the 2005 Champions League final

“A word comes to mind when I think of the Xabi class,” said Crouch, in a Q&A with fans published in the Daily Mail.

“Everything he did was done with a touch of panache, on and off the field. He came to Liverpool from Real Sociedad but had no problem settling in the locker room, he mixed up with everyone.

“In training, he hit you short balls and expected you to deal with them. You would then see it strike these beautiful passes of 50 meters which would hit their target like a laser.

“To see him in the practice of shooting was also a sight to behold.

Alonso used to present his “immaculate” finish at training at Melwood base in Liverpool

“We had this exercise where the midfielders – whether Xabi, Steven Gerrard or Didi Hamann – would reach the edge of the surface after a ball was crossed from the outside and the quality of their finish was everything simply impeccable. “

“The sound of the connection illustrated the level of the strike.

“That doesn’t mean he didn’t drive us crazy at times. He used to take shots from the center line at Melwood, with varying degrees of success.

“The first time he repeated it in a match – at Luton in the FA Cup – Stevie was going to give him the biggest roll of all time … until he saw the ball go into the net at 70 yards. “

Peter Crouch in his days in Liverpool, celebrating a goal with Alonso and Mark Gonzalez

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After joining Madrid from Liverpool, Alonso won a second Champions League winner medal in 2014 and helped Los Blancos win a La Liga title, two Copa del Rey wins and the Spanish Super Cup.

He helped Spain win three consecutive major titles in their country’s most illustrious era, as the triumphs of Euro 2008 and 2012 sandwiched their 2010 World Cup victory.

And Alonso still hadn’t made it, joining Bayern in 2014 and winning three consecutive Bundesliga titles with the German giants.

Now 38, Alonso is director of Real Sociedad B after gaining experience as a coach of Real Madrid’s under-14 team.


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