I Almost Joined Barcelona Ahead Real Madrid, Says Xabi Alonso

Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso revealed he almost joined Spanish club Barcelona before he made the move to the Spanish capital.

The former Real Madrid playmaker,left Premier League side Liverpool for Real Madrid in 2009, going on to win LaLiga, the Champions League, Copa del Rey and Supercopa de Espana before linking up with Pep Guardiola at Bayern Munich five years later.

But it could have been a lot different for 35-years-old midfielder - who is set to retire at the end of the season - had it not been for the emergence of fellow Spaniard Sergio Busquets at Barcelona.

"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."

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