• Midfielder spent last four years with Borussia Dortmund • Alonso to make debut for 3-1 first-division loss at Real Valladolid
Xabi Alonso, Spain’s undisputed heir to the Josep Guardiola system at Bayern Munich, has returned to Catalonia to sign a one-year deal with Real Valladolid and, after a season at Borussia Dortmund, begins his campaign against Valladolid.
The three-time World Cup winner will compete for a starting place with Raul Albiol, who was signed from Real Madrid by José Mourinho before last season’s European Cup triumph, as Valladolid set off on a three-game trek to Galicia, Murcia and Tenerife.
Alonso helped Bayern return to the German Bundesliga title in last season’s campaign and made his return to the club this season before abruptly calling time on his playing career earlier this month.
After a year in Catalonia Alonso is now keen to begin his job as Valladolid’s sporting director. “If it happens, that would be the best thing,” said the 32-year-old. “Being a sporting director in Spain it’s exciting to follow the development of young players. Then I don’t have to go out on the field and work just like everyone else.”
Alonso spent seven years at Real Sociedad before joining Real Madrid in 2005. The following year he moved to Manchester United and won the Champions League and the Premier League titles. He joined Bayern Munich in 2008 and won two more Champions League titles.