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02nd Jul 2017

Xabi Alonso rejected a pretty big job immediately after retiring

Seemed a good fit

Darragh Murphy

Xabi Alonso almost made the quickest of returns to football.

The midfield legend hung up his boots in May after a decorated career which saw him endear himself to fans in Liverpool, Madrid and Munich.

Following three consecutive league titles with Bayern Munich, Alonso called it a day and has more than earned his retirement.

But that break would have been quite short if his last manager, Carlo Ancelotti, had his way because the Bayern boss was eager to have Alonso step right into a role as assistant manager of the club.

Ancelotti revealed that he attempted to convince Alonso, as well as his fellow recent retiree Philipp Lahm, to accept a position as the Italian’s right hand man.

Both turned down the opportunity and, instead, former France international Willy Sagnol was announced as Ancelotti’s assistant.

“I wanted an assistant who knew the club,” Ancelotti said. “I tried to convince Philipp Lahm before the end of the season, I also tried to convince Xabi Alonso. They refused.

“Willy suits perfectly, he has the right profile, he has been successful at Bordeaux, and he knows the players like Coman or Ribery, and he will improve our trainer team.”

Alonso will no doubt make a fantastic coach and manager down the line but the time just didn’t feel right for the Spaniard to jump right back in at the deep end.