Xabi Alonso’s appointment as reserve team boss at Real Sociedad is no surprise for his former Liverpool teammate Luis Garcia.
The former central midfielder secured his requisite coaching badges in 2018 and last summer was confirmed as Coach of Madrid’s Under-14 team.
In doing so, he followed in the footsteps of a long line of former Madrid players, including Guti, Santiago Solari and Zinedine Zidane, in returning to the club after their playing career.
The 37-year-old arrived at Los Blancos from Liverpool in the summer of 2009 and spent five years with the club, making 236 appearances and winning every trophy on offer before joining Bayern Munich in 2014.
By coaching the Madrid youth team for the entire season, Alonso obtained his UEFA Pro Licence which opened up a number of other positions.
“We all knew Xabi would become a Coach, because he already was one when he was playing,” explained Garcia in an interview.
“He would be sitting in the middle of the pitch and instructing the rest of the players - where to move, where the gaps were, how to generate the space.
“This news has not surprised me at all because we all knew he would become a successful Coach and he had already won titles at Real Madrid with the Under-13 and Under-14 sides.
“Going to the Real Sociedad reserve side is the next step for him and it is logical because it is a bigger job with more responsibility at a club and a city he is very familiar with.
“It is the perfect move because sometimes Coach’s rush a little to get a big job in the top flight but you need the experience first.
“This is the perfect move for him and he will continue to move up.”