Photo: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)
Bayern Munich confirmed Friday that it has reached a deal with Real Madrid for the transfer of Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso, who has completed his medical and will sign a two-year deal.
Real Madrid had made the announcement earlier and the Bavarian club confirmed on its Web site that an agreement had been finalized.
“I’m extremely proud to have the opportunity at my age to play for this great club; I’m super happy,” the 32-year-old Alonso told Germany’s Sport 1 television.
The midfielder said the chance to compete under the guidance of Bayern’s Spanish head coach, Pep Guardiola, factored heavily in his decision.
Alonso will be counted on to fill in for injured midfielders Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thiago Alcantara, according to German media.
Bayern’s sports director, Matthias Sammer, said Thursday as the club neared an agreement for Alonso that the player would “help us immediately and raise our quality” and predicted that he will be able to play at the highest level for at least two more years.
The club’s Dutch winger, Arjen Robben, also told the Bild tabloid that Alonso will provide a boost to the squad.
“You just have to look at all that he’s won to know how good he is,” Robben added.
Alonso announced Wednesday that he will no longer play for Spain’s national team.
“I announce my retirement from international soccer. It’s been an enormous honor for 11 great years. Sincere thanks to everyone involved,” he tweeted.
Alonso, who joined Real Madrid from Liverpool in 2009, has been a part of two Champions League-winning sides during his career: in 2005 with the Reds and last season with the Spanish-league powerhouse.
During his more than 11-year tenure with Spain’s national team, he helped lead his country to two European Championship crowns (2008 and 2012) and its first-ever World Cup title (2010).