HomeEntertainmentBayer Leverkusen always believed Xabi Alonso would snub Liverpool, Bayern Munich and...

Bayer Leverkusen always believed Xabi Alonso would snub Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to continue their fairytale, says chief Simon Rolfes… as he warns big clubs circling around their top talents

  • The 42-year-old Alonso confirmed his commitment to Bayer Leverkusen last month
  • They have since won the Bundesliga and can add two more trophies to that list
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Bayer Leverkusen was always confident that Xabi Alonso would resist the overtures of Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to continue his fairytale with them.

Alonso, 42, is the top coaching prospect after leading Leverkusen to their first Bundesliga title win. They were able to win two more trophies while remaining undefeated.

Amid intense speculation that he would replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool or replace Thomas Tuchel at Bayern, Alonso confirmed his commitment to Leverkusen last month.

The club’s sporting director Simon Rolfes said there was never any doubt Alonso would stay a little longer.

‘No. “We were always reliable and had open communication about everything,” he told the newspaper Daily mirror.

Xabi Alonso rejected Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to reaffirm his commitment to a new season at Bayer Leverkusen

There were extraordinary scenes of celebration after Leverkusen won a first Bundesliga title

There were extraordinary scenes of celebration after Leverkusen won a first Bundesliga title

Leverkusen's sporting director Simon Rolfes always believed Alonso would stay

Leverkusen’s sporting director Simon Rolfes always believed Alonso would stay

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‘My feeling was quite good all the time, there was definitely some interest, but I always had the feeling that he feels very good and likes to work with Bayer Leverkusen.

‘He has a very good relationship with the players, the club and the supporters and he feels like: ‘OK, maybe it’s good to stay here longer’.

‘We will continue together and have more goals to achieve.’

Leverkusen’s next ambitions are to add the German Cup and Europa League to the Bundesliga, which was sealed last Sunday when they beat Werder Bremen 5-0.

They extended their extraordinary unbeaten season in all competitions to 44 matches when Jeremy Frimpong scored an 89th-minute equalizer at West Ham to secure a 3-1 aggregate victory on Thursday evening.

Leverkusen faces a difficult Bundesliga assignment on Sunday afternoon at Champions League semi-finalist Borussia Dortmund.

Alonso’s side drew Roma in the Europa League semi-finals and will face second-tier Kaiserslautern in the DFB-Pokal final on May 25.

One problem for Leverkusen is that bigger clubs in Germany, England and beyond can pick their star talents this summer.

Fullback Frimpong has been linked to Manchester United, Piero Hincapie has attracted interest from Liverpool, while 20-year-old star Florian Wirtz has suitors at Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Alonso is doused in beer as Leverkusen celebrate their historic Bundesliga victory

Alonso is doused in beer as Leverkusen celebrate their historic Bundesliga victory

Jeremy Frimpong celebrates his late equalizer at West Ham to extend Leverkusen's unbeaten season to 44 games in all competitions

Jeremy Frimpong celebrates his late equalizer at West Ham to extend Leverkusen’s unbeaten season to 44 games in all competitions

“One thing is that we always extended the contracts early,” Rolfes said. ‘We have a lot of control over those situations.

‘The other thing is convincing, making the players feel that they are in the right place to develop.

‘It’s about developing their careers and also being successful together as a team. There is a strong bond between the boys and you can see that they enjoy playing together in this club and surrounding area.

‘It’s a real family environment, but we also try to encourage the boys to develop and get better. This combination puts us in a very good position in the eyes of the player.’


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