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Xabi Alonso reveals he almost joined Barcelona before Real Madrid

Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso has revealed how he nearly joined Barcelona before he moved to Real Madrid.
Xabi Alonso, who has enjoyed a stellar career for  club and country, will retire at end of season
Alonso left Liverpool for Madrid back in 2009, going to enjoy a successful spell with the La Liga giants by winning the league, Champions League, Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup.
However, Alonso's career path could have looked much different if he had joined up with Pep Guardiola at Madrid's rivals Barcelona.
And Alonso, who is retiring at the end of the season following a stellar career for both club and country, has revealed that Guardiola wanted to sign him before the emergence of Sergio Busquets.
'It happened not long before I left for Real Madrid,' Alonso told El Pais.

'Liverpool told me that they wanted to sell me, [manager at that time, Rafael] Benitez too, and Pep showed an interest in my situation.
'He wanted to sign me because, as he told Rafa, I was the type of player who would fit his [playing] model. But he had doubts because Busquets had just come through and had the makings of a tremendous player.
'Guardiola chose him, and he wasn't proved wrong.'
Alonso has enjoyed a successful season so far with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, who sit eight points clear at the top of the table.
The 35-year-old faces his former club on Tuesday night at the Bernabeu as Bayern look to overcome a 2-1 deficit in their quarter-final Champions League second-leg clash.

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