Xabi Alonso: Pep Guardiola talked me into Bayern Munich move
Pep Guardiola, and the ever improving Bundesliga were the main reasons for Xabi Alonso to make the step to Bayern Munich, the former Real Madrid man told a news conference in Munich on Monday.
Alonso, targeting a third Champions League trophy with a third club, joined the Bundesliga champions from Real Madrid last Friday and just one day later, the Spaniard debuted for his new club in the 1-1 draw at FC Schalke 04.
And on Sunday, his old club lost 4-2 away to Real Sociedad, uncharacteristically throwing away a two-goal lead.
"Nobody expected that result, I was a bit surprised," the veteran midfielder told a news conference in Munich on Monday, and admitted: "It was a bit weird seeing my old teammates on the TV.
"It's all gone very quickly. My debut was very pleasant, although it would have been ever better with a win."
The 32-year-old, who retired from international football last week, hopes to pick up a third Champions League trophy with Bayern Munich, having already won the biggest title in club football with Liverpool in 2005, and Real Madrid in 2014.
"I was lucky enough to win the Champions League with two teams. It would be fantastic to repeat that with a third team," Alonso said, before citing Pep Guardiola as another reason for his switch into the "booming" Bundesliga.
"When you play at Real Madrid then you are aware that Barcelona are the biggest rivals. Pep's done a magnificent job during his time there. I always respected him, because he was the coach of a terrific team.
"I know Pep very well from the games against Barca. It's clear to me how he wants to play, and want he wants of me. I've come here to learn from him. I am convinced that I can adapt my style."
There had been some criticism in Germany because of the strong Spanish contingent at Bayern Munich, but Alonso washed away worries of a Spanish invasion.
The 2010 World Cup winner says he hopes to learn German "as well as I can," and added: "German is the main language at FC Bayern. We Spaniards have to adapt to that. It's important."
The midfielder was welcomed by Bayern Munich sporting executive Matthias Sammer who said: "It's a special moment for us as we greet a great player and a great personality to the club. We want to win everything, and that's why we need him.
"His approach and the way he plays football will help us immediately. He's a personality with real character out on the field. His aura at the lunch table or in the dressing room, and the experience he's accumulated is all very important for the team."