Former Red Peter Crouch has opened up on how good Xabi Alonso was during his days at Anfield.
Alonso, who joined Liverpool from Real Sociedad in 2004, had a successful time at Anfield. The midfielder claimed the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FA Cup during his time at the club.
The Spaniard eventually departed Anfield for Real Madrid in 2009, where he won another UEFA Champions League title. Alonso finished his club career at Bayern Munich, where he claimed three Bundesliga titles.
Crouch, who played with Alonso between 2005-08, has described the midfielder as “class” when opening up on how good the Spaniard was.
“One word comes to my mind when I think about Xabi – class,” said Crouch, in a Q&A published by the Daily Mail.
“Everything he did was done with a touch of panache, on and off the pitch. He came to Liverpool from Real Sociedad but he had no problem settling into the dressing room, he mixed with everyone.
“In training, he would rap these short balls into your feet and expect you to deal with it. You would then see him strike these beautiful 50-yard passes that would hit their target like a laser.
“To see him in shooting practice was also a sight to behold.
“We had this drill where the midfielders – whether it would be Xabi, Steven Gerrard or Didi Hamann – would arrive on the edge of the box after a ball was crossed in from out wide and the quality of their finishing was just immaculate.
“The sound of the connection illustrated the level of the strike.
“That’s not to say he didn’t drive us mad at times. He used to take on shots from the halfway line at Melwood, with varying success.
“The first time he repeated it in a game – at Luton in the FA Cup – Stevie was going to give him the biggest rollicking of all time… until he saw the ball sail into the net from 70 yards.”
ANFIELD WATCH VERDICT
Alonso was an elite footballer. This statement can be backed up by the fact that he played for some of the biggest clubs in the world such as Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. He also won trophies at all of them.
Alonso was the type of player that you would pay to watch, and that was simply because he had the capacity to do things other players could not, such as his ability to play a variety of different passes.
Gerrard has described Alonso as “the best passer” that he has played with, which does give one an indication into how good the Spaniard was with the ball at his feet.