Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso wants to be remembered as a ‘pure football player’ as he bows out of the game this weekend.
Saturday’s game against Freiburg will bring the 35-year-old’s glistening career to an end after 17 years at the top level, where among his club achievements he helped Spain win two European Championships and the 2010 World Cup.
“I want to be remembered as a pure football player,” Alonso told an interview with Marca.
“I believe the most important thing has been the game and not all that surrounds it with the media noise, I have always aimed to play pure football.
"What I liked was to live the atmosphere of football, in different countries, I have great respect for the sport, the rivals, my teammates, the overall game.
"I can't control the general perception of people and I dare not tell them what to think. If I ask myself, how do you think you did? Then I'd say I'm satisfied. I think I did well.
“Being able to retire while still at the top level is something that has been in my mind for a long time.
"I always respected and greatly admired those who did that and always thought, 'I wish I could do it that way!'”