Why does everyone want Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso?

Why does everyone want Bayer Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso?

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Alonso is preparing for a reunion with his former boss Mourinho in the Europa League

At a time when there is a lot of movement on the benches of the big Premier League clubs, the name of Xabi Alonso is one of the most talked about names to occupy them. Competing with Luis Enrique and Pochettino, both also in all the pools, everything seems to indicate that Alonso will make the leap to English football or even Real Madrid... but why?

In his first job with an elite team, Bayer Leverkusen, Xabi has been able to implement his ideas on the squad. Coming from the bottom, having started out in the youth ranks at Real Madrid and before moving to Germany via Real Sociedad's reserve team, it has not taken him long to become recognised as one of the most interesting coaches on the continent. 

Relegation to Europa League

The German side know what they are playing for and the results show it. Since his arrival, there has been a radical change in performances and results. He took over a great squad that was playing to avoid relegation and, in a few months, activated the players to fight for bigger objectives. Already in the semi-finals of the Europa League, Roma represent the last hurdle to reach the final.  

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Two weeks after his appointment, he acknowledged that the situation was "very bad." With no chance of staying in Europe -- they were in Atlético Madrid's group in the Champions League -- and second-bottom in the league, the team was sunk. But everything has changed. Now they are one of the most attacking teams. Speed, talent and a much-improved defence are the keys to their resurrection. 

Fear in Germany

They are currently the team nobody wants to meet in the Bundesliga. Nor in the Europa League. They haven't lost since mid-February, which has allowed them to climb up to Conference League positions (6). But they can still look higher. Six points separate them from fifth-placed Leipzig. There are 12 to play for, but if they win the Europa League they are in the Champions League. 

Reunion with Mourinho

"I've been influenced by all the coaches I've had... and I've been lucky enough to be with some great ones. They all left their mark on me. My style is defined by the players I have and I adapt to them," he told Marca in an interview last April. 

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Next Thursday, May 11, the first battle with his former boss at Madrid Jose Mourinho will be fought in the semi-finals of the European competition, where the 'pupil' will have to prove that he wants titles now.


Leverkusen have a very young squad full of talent. An exciting project that Xabi Alonso has managed to raise, but which, if he finally leaves, will remain up in the air. There remains an exciting final stretch of the season to see how far his adventure can go.

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