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The success story of manager Xabi Alonso

It was a moment we knew might come soon, but one that we were too scared to dream of. But it finally happened: Bayer Leverkusen is the champion of the German Bundesliga. With 16 points ahead and only five games to go, the team from Leverkusen is out of reach for the likes of Bayern Munich, VfB Stuttgart, and Borussia Dortmund. It’s a truly special moment because Leverkusen breaks the hegemony of Bayern Munich, who have won the Bundesliga every year since 2012. Moreover, this was the first-ever league title for Bayer Leverkusen, putting the nickname ‘Neverkusen’ in the bin. One of the key figures is, of course, head coach Xabi Alonso. The Spaniard is at the beginning of his coaching career, but impresses the world of football with his attractive style of play and a Bundesliga title in his first year and a half at the club. Although Bayern Munich and Liverpool are keen on the services of the manager, it seems that the club from North Rhine-Westphalia will keep a hold of their successful coach for next season.

Xabi Alonso on camera for Life After Football

The man behind the success

This unique result deserves a deeper look into the coach Xabi Alonso. Alonso took over Leverkusen last year when the club was in 17th place in the Bundesliga after a 4-0 defeat against Bayern Munich. He managed to lead the club to sixth place that season. That revival turned out to be an omen of the current season, in which Leverkusen has not lost a single game yet. With 29 Bundesliga games unbeaten, Leverkusen broke Bayern’s record in the 2013/2014 season of 28 games unbeaten under Pep Guardiola. And that all under the leadership of a former Bayern player.

Xabi Alonso started playing club football at Antiguoko in San Sebasti√°n in 1990. At this club, he played alongside Mikel Arteta, who has been a good friend of Alonso ever since. It’s safe to say the small Basque city produces more than just one successful trainer. After his period at Antiguoko, he entered Real Sociedad’s youth academy, where he had his breakthrough in professional football. A wonderful career with many trophies and experience in the best teams in the world including Real Madrid, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, and the glory days of Spanish football, appears to be the base for Xabi Alonso’s successful coaching career. The midfielder has worked with the best coaches in the world and manages to successfully bring all those influences together at Bayer Leverkusen, where he has a good squad of young talents and experienced players.

Having won the championship, the ambitious coach is keen to maintain his unbeaten status in the last five games of the Bundesliga season. Besides, Bayer Leverkusen is still in the race for the DFB Pokal and the Europa League. So there’s plenty to play for and a chance to make the fairytale of the club and Xabi Alonso even better.

Xabi Alonso on camera for Life After Football
Xabi Alonso on camera for Life After Football