Xabi Alonso has ended speculation over his future by signing a new deal with Real Madrid that will keep him at the Santiago Bernabéu until 2016.
Negotiations between Alonso and Madrid over the contract have been long and there have been ups and downs, including moments when the club thought he was not going to renew his commitment to Los Blancos. But despite being linked with a Bosman move back to the Premier League this summer, Alonso decided that Madrid was where he wanted to finish his career.
Alonso’s new deal will see the midfielder’s salary increase considerably, from €4 million to €6 million per year after tax.
After starting his career at Basque side Real Sociedad, Alonso was signed by compatriot Rafael Benitez for Liverpool in 2004 for £10.5 million. He became a fans’ favourite during his five years in Merseyside and famously scored the equaliser as Liverpool came from 3-0 down at half-time to beat AC Milan on penalties in the 2005 Champions League final.
In 2009 he joined Madrid in a £30 million move as part of Real president Florentino Perez’s promised spending spree upon being elected for a second term in charge. He played 36 league games as Madrid won La Liga with a club record 100 points under Jose Mourinho in 2011/12.
And Alonso has also played a key role in the Spanish national team’s era of dominance as he played in every game when they won the FIFA World Cup™ for the first time in 2010 and a second consecutive UEFA European Championship in 2012.