Alonso explains Benitez falling out

Xabi Alonso revealed he fell out with former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez over not being permitted to miss a game for his child’s birth.

The match in question was a Champions League tie with Inter Milan, which clashed with Alonso’s wife going into labour and he asked his then-manager to be excused from the trip until the birth.

“I told Rafa that I could not travel with the team with this situation going on,” Alonso explained in an interview with El Pais.

“I would travel to Milan when everything was fine, I could get a plane straight out and meet up with the squad but he did not accept this.

“I had to make a decision and I opted to spend the time with my family at that moment, and I never regretted it.”

Ahead of Bayern’s Champions League tie with Real Madrid, the 35-year-old – who will retire in summer – compared trying to stop Los Blancos with trying to stop Lionel Messi.

"There are teams who you can analyse and see how to shut them out, stop them from playing down the wings, or through the centre," he continued.

"With Madrid you cannot think too much about them. They have so much talent, so much skill in all positions, that it is difficult to stop them — they can score against you in any way.

“It happened to us at Madrid with Messi. We asked ourselves how to stop him, then on the pitch he would dribble past three defenders and show up in the area.

"How do you predict this movement? Madrid have this on the level of their team. [To beat them], besides playing well, you must have a bit of luck and for them to not have a good day."

Tags Rafael Benitez Xabi Alonso