Xabi Alonso is leaving his beloved home country and heading to Germany…
The 32-year-old Spanish soccer star has agreed to a two-year contract with Bayern Munich for an undisclosed fee.
Alonso had been a midfielder for Real Madrid for five years following his £30m move from Liverpool in 2009.
Alonso, a Champions League winner in May, had just signed a new two-year deal in January.
Bayern moved for Alonso after Toni Kroos joined Madrid following the World Cup and fellow Spaniard Javi Martinez was ruled out until 2015 with a knee injury.
“He has bags of experience and a big personality,” said Bayern boss Pep Guardiola.
“We need a player with his quality and vision. I know he’s 32 but that doesn’t matter in this position, where you need intelligent players, rather than the legs and stamina for the flanks.”
“I had a great time here, we have won big things and now a new chapter opens for me. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to take,” said Alonso. “The club did not want me to go. It was my decision and I asked them to understand. The club didn’t share my idea but they understood my need to start a new chapter, to start from zero in a new club.”
Alonso, who won two European Championships and a World Cup with Spain, joined Liverpool from Real Sociedad in 2004 where he won the Champions League at the end of his first season.