As a result of his stellar playing career and an eloquence of expression, Xabi Alonso has been touted as one of the brightest prospects in management.
Those expectations skyrocketed when he managed to promote Real Sociedad’s B team to the Segunda Division A in Spain via the play-offs last season. It was just their second time in the second tier of Spanish football and their first in 50 years.
This season has been a somewhat trickier task. Real Sociedad B are already relegated from the Segunda with a game to spare and have averaged just under a point a game.
The highest they can finish is 19th and following their final match against Real Zaragoza on Friday night, Alonso will depart the club as was confirmed on their website on Wednesday.
His next step will no doubt be highly anticipated. Last summer Borussia Moenchengladbach were heavily linked with him and have sacked manager Adi Hutter too, while many have wondered if he may return to Real Madrid at some point.
Coached by Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, Alonso couldn’t have wished for a better education in terms of coaching. If he can synthesize their skills into his own management, he’ll be well placed to return to the peak of European football.