Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen extended their unbeaten run to 30 games last night with a 3-2 win against
VfB Stuttgart in the DFB Pokal. The Spaniard has reaped praise from colleagues with his side in the German Cup semi-final while B04 lead Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga by two points.
A win against Bayern on Saturday in the Topspiel would see Bayer Leverkusen move five points clear of their competitors in the race for the Meisterschale. It’s a huge test for Alonso, who has been influenced by some of football’s greatest coaches: Pep Guardiola, Rafael Benitez, Carlo Ancelotti and José Mourinho.READ MORE
José Mourinho knew Xabi Alonso would make a great coach
Speaking in an interview on the official FIFA website in 2010, Mourinho predicted Alonso’s success: “He has the quality that a ‘metronome’ must have. I’m sure that when he hangs up his boots he’ll be a great coach if he wants to be. He reminds me of Pep Guardiola when I had him as a player. He was already a coach on the pitch.”
Florian Wirtz flourishes under Xabi Alonso
Florian Wirtz (20) has scored 12 and created 23 in 53 games under Alonso. The German only had positive things to say about his coach: “I feel extremely valued under him,” Wirtz told Bundesliga.de. “I feel the trust.
“That’s really important, especially as a young player. He gives me a lot of freedom on the pitch and always has a tip on what I can do better. He played at the highest level as a professional. It’s great to have such a legend as a coach. Xabi knows exactly what makes a team tick.”