Xabi Alonso has revealed that the delay in extending his contract with Real Madrid was because he wanted to establish his fitness first.
Alonso eventually agreed terms with Los Blancos but Marca reports an interview the midfielder conducted with France Football in which he divulged the reasons for the lengthy wait before putting pen to paper.
“I wanted to be sure I was well physically,” he confirmed.
“The pelvic injury dragged me down last season. It had nothing to do with money or desire.
“I asked myself: ‘Are you willing to spend two more years here?’ When the answer was yes it was easy to renew.”
Alonso was also asked about life under Carlo Ancelotti, who took over as Coach at Santiago Bernabeu last summer.
“We are well organised on the pitch,” Alonso explained.
“Even the forwards help us which makes it much easier to control the game from midfield.
“Our work benefits the defenders and leaves them less exposed. It means the goalkeeper has less pressure and concedes fewer goals.
“The influence of one line of the team on another provides balance, which will be essential from April onwards.
“That’s when all the key fixtures start: the Champions League quarter finals, the Cup final and the home stretch of the League.
“If there are only seven players defending it won’t be enough. We must defend and attack together.”