Xabi Alonso has defended former Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho, saying the Portuguese respects his players, especially those who put in the effort.
In an interview with El Mundo, the Spanish international also spoke of Carlo Ancelotti, former Madrid players who inspire him, and his love for all the teams he has represented in his career.
“With Mourinho he respects players who make a great effort. My father was a Coach and I was brought up in a house where such a figure was respected.
“When I met Ancelotti the first thing I told him was that he owed me a European Cup,” said Alonso, who also remembered former players at the club who motivate him.
“[Fernando] Hierro told me a lot about what it means to be captain. [Fernando] Redondo too, such as what I hear and things he saw in his era.
“These are people who won European Cups, who when they reached the quarter-finals knew they were able to compete with anybody, and nowadays I am very much a Madridista.
“I arrived as a professional and you certainly become a Madridista here because it is inevitable.
“I’ve played at three teams with a special mystique in my career: Real Sociedad, Liverpool and Real Madrid. I will always be one of them,” explained Alonso.