News : Xabi Alonso to Borussia Mönchengladbach? That’s what the rumor is about
If it is true that when you have the best teachers, you become particularly good, Xabi Alonso would be the perfect trainer. As a player he played under Carlo Ancelotti and Josep Guardiola, under Vicente del Bosque and José Mourinho, so you can learn a lot. Liverpool FC, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, the Spanish national team, there were also the finest addresses that have accompanied the career of the now 39-year-old.
Borussia Mönchengladbach is also not a bad address, but certainly not the league in which the footballer Xabi Alonso moved. In this respect, it would be a scoop if this world and European champion, the two-time Champions League winner, worked as a coach on the Lower Rhine in the coming season. Nothing is official yet, but the news in the “Bild” newspaper that Xabi Alonso would take over the Bundesliga job caused excitement in the industry. Nothing had previously indicated this personnel, including the fact that Alonso should endeavor to leave his home San Sebastián again as soon as possible.
Alonso comes from Tolosa half an hour south of San Sebastián. His father Periko was also a footballer. With the exception of a few years that his father played at FC Barcelona, Xabi spent his youth in San Sebastián, at Real Sociedad he took his first steps as a professional and became a national player. His wife is from the city too. When he started as a coach for Real Sociedad’s second team after a year as head of Real Madrid’s C youth team in the 2019/2020 season, it was considered a deliberate and at least medium-term return home.
“We are fortunate that Xabi made a kind of life decision to return home with his family,” said sports director Roberto Olabe shortly afterwards in an interview with SPIEGEL. The youth department is the heart of the club, no other club in Spain has so many professionals from its own province (Guipuzkoa) in its first division squad – thirteen. “Imagine our boys with the experience of Xabi,” Olabe exulted at the time.
Attacking, experimental ball possession football
In fact, things went very well for »Sanse«, as the second team is called, with Alonso. In his first season – ten games before the end due to Corona – he missed the promotion playoffs by one place in the then four-track third division of Spain. The team has currently qualified for the playoffs. In Spain, the third division will be played in just two seasons from the summer, and Sanse is sure to take part. In the coming weeks it will be about promotion to the second division.
Alonso lets attacking ball possession football play and is tactically willing to experiment with a 3-2-2-3 system. He also developed talents for the first team. Above all, Martin Zubimendi, now a regular in the former Alonso position in front of the defense, spoke highly of his learning process under the old master last season: “He gave me this plus that I needed to make the leap up.”
Tax proceedings not yet ended
In fact, it was widely believed that Alonso would one day take over Real Sociedad’s first team. We can only speculate about why he could move out into the world from home beforehand. The fact that there was no upward permeability for the time being certainly plays a major role. Despite setbacks such as a 6-1 win against Barcelona on Sunday, the club are satisfied with the work of Imanol Alguacil, who also comes from the club and has brought Real Sociedad back to the top of the league in recent years.
“Imanol is doing a spectacular job,” Alonso said himself in one of his rare public appearances. After years in the background, however, he now apparently feels ripe for the next step, and after sentimentality he has never acted big in his career. His contract only ran for two years.
One can only speculate whether a departure from Spain could also have something to do with the tax evasion investigation against Xabi Alonso. The authorities have been dealing with the issue for years after the tax tricks at Real Madrid came to light in the wake of the Football Leaks revelations. Alonso was acquitted of tax fraud allegations in 2019, but the Supreme Court cashed this judgment at the beginning of the year. So the last word has not yet been spoken here.
For Borussia Mönchengladbach, a coach Xabi Alonso would be a step into new territory. A name with such a sound has not yet practiced at Borussia-Park, you can say that without hurting Dieter Hecking or Marco Rose. The mildew that had settled over the club in the previous weeks as part of the announced departure from Marco Rose would have suddenly been blown away. Borussia would suddenly go from being a good Bundesliga club to a very exciting club that not only national media would look at.
In terms of sport, however, the whole thing would be quite risky, after all, the Spaniard first has to prove what he is capable of as a coach in a major European league. The club is sure to attract international attention, as the first reactions to the Alonso report on Monday showed. In Mönchengladbach a new style would definitely move in, possibly also football, but the glamor factor would be guaranteed. Glamor and Mönchengladbach – that has probably not existed since Günter Netzer.