In typically classy fashion, Xabi Alonso announced his retirement from football with an arty black and white picture.
Lived it. Loved it.
Farewell beautiful game. pic.twitter.com/1aSN7GGNzZ— Xabi Alonso (@XabiAlonso) March 9, 2017
Farewell beautiful Xabi!
There was just one problem – everyone thought the Bayern Munich midfielder had already announced his retirement.
I thought Alonso had already announced this?— LFC4LIFE (@LFC4LIFENET) March 9, 2017
Alonso said he was retiring months ago - thought it was common knowledge.— Daniel (@DanielT29) March 9, 2017
Hadn't Alonso already said he was retiring?— Danny (@Dan_B94) March 9, 2017
In news we thought we'd already mentioned several weeks ago, it looks like Xabi Alonso has confirmed he's retiring at the end of the season pic.twitter.com/YGMuxy6pyU— William Hill (@WilliamHill) March 9, 2017
I thought Alonso announced his retirement months ago?! 🤔 did I dream it?!— Andrew (@AndrewN_LFC) March 9, 2017
It seems the confusion comes from the fact that German paper Bild reported back in January that Alonso was to retire at the end of the season, and that was widely covered in the press.
Alonso never said anything about it at the time though, so this slightly cryptic tweet is his first public statement on the matter.
Expanding on the decision on the Bayern website, he added: “It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I believe it’s the right time. I always thought it would be better to quit sooner rather than later.
“I still feel good, but I believe this is the right moment. I wanted to end my career still at the highest level, and Bayern is the highest level.”
Having started his career at local club Real Sociedad, Alonso joined Liverpool in 2004 and was an influential part of the Reds side that won an unforgettable Champions League final against AC Milan in 2005.
He also spent five years with Real Madrid before moving to Bayern.