Bayern Munich's World Cup-winning midfielder Xabi Alonso is to retire from professional football at the end of the season, it has been confirmed.
Xabi Alonso: "Lived it. Loved it. Farewell beautiful game"
Alonso took to social media on Thursday to reveal his retirement plan, posting on Twitter and Instagram: "Lived it. Loved it. Farewell beautiful game."
And the 35-year-old Spaniard told Bayern's official website: "It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I believe it’s the right time.
"I always thought it would be better to quit sooner rather than later. I wanted to end my career still at the highest level, and Bayern is the highest level."
Lived it. Loved it.— Xabi Alonso (@XabiAlonso) 9 March 2017
Farewell beautiful game. pic.twitter.com/1aSN7GGNzZ
End of a glittering playing career
The ex-Real Sociedad, Liverpool and Real Madrid man will hang up his boots following a career that has brought over 800 games for club and country.
After starting out at La Real, a 2004 switch to Liverpool saw him help the Premier League club to the 2004/05 Champions League trophy, as well as an FA Cup, a UEFA Super Cup and an FA Community Shield.
Xabi Alonso move to Madrid
Alonso moved to Madrid in 2009, where he lifted one LaLiga title, two Copas del Rey and a Spanish Super Cup - and, though he missed the final, played his part in Los Merengues' conquest of 'La Décima', their 10th European Cup, in 2014.
Since joining Bayern that summer, Xabi has celebrated two Bundesliga championships, one German Cup and one German Super Cup.
He won 114 caps for Spain and was part of the team that earned a maiden world crown in 2010, either side of European Championship triumphs in 2008 and 2012.
Champions League and Europa League Draw Coverage