Xabi Alonso, presented as Leverkusen’s new coach: “It’s the right time”

BERLIN (GERMANY), 6 Oct. (dpa/EP) –

The new coach of Bayer Leverkusen, Xabi Alonso, assured this Thursday that his first adventure in a top-level team comes at the “right time” during his presentation, due to his “great ambition and motivation.”

“I have been waiting for the right moment and I feel that this is the right moment. I have great ambition and motivation to help the club,” said the former soccer player at a press conference.

The world champion with Spain in 2010, of Europe in 2008 and 2012 and former player of teams such as Real Sociedad, Real Madrid, Liverpool and Bayern Munich, rejected other offers to direct the bench of the German team. The Basque signed until June 2024, after only adding experience as a coach of the San Sebastian team’s subsidiary.

Now he takes charge of a Leverkusen that dismissed Gerard Seoane on Wednesday, who left the team penultimate in the Bundesliga, with three defeats in three games in the group stage of the Champions League and eliminated from the German Cup by the team from third division Elversberg.

Xabi Alonso’s first game in charge of the Leverkusen bench will be this Saturday at home against Schalke, after the 4-0 defeat against Bayern in the League and after losing (2-0) in the Champions League against Porto.

“Time is a luxury in football. We have a lot of work to do. I have to get to know the players, connect with them and get to know the environment,” Alonso said during the appearance.

The coach highlighted the great quality of the squad, which is why he promised to play “modern football, with and without the ball”. “And we need a winning mentality,” he elaborated.

For his part, the sporting director of Leverkusen, Simon Rolfes, stressed that “experience is not more important than quality”, in response to Alonso’s lack of experience on the First Division bench. “Xabi was always our main solution. We had many conversations and we both had the feeling that he fit in wonderfully,” he concluded, praising the Basque’s character as a “leader.”

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