Xabi Alonso signs on with Real Madrid

Xabi Alonso is back in his native Spain to bolster the Real Madrid midfield and help his beloved Barcelona.

Alonso, who has been linked with Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea in recent months, will become the latest Spanish superstar to headline a Spanish league team after returning to Real Madrid on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old midfielder signed a one-year contract and won’t be available until October. His representatives, Gestifute, said a two-year deal was re-cast and several Serie A clubs were in contention for his signature, although he decided he wanted to join Real Madrid.

Alonso is the Madrid club’s second major offseason signing after buying and shipping out the French striker Karim Benzema.

“I am very happy to join Real Madrid,” Alonso said. “The team is undergoing an excellent period of time and having the chance to work with great players. There are so many sensations. I am happy to be in the club I always supported.”

Real Madrid President Florentino Perez praised Alonso’s merits as “one of the world’s best midfielders” and praised the Spaniard’s hard work and commitment to Real Madrid in recent years.

“I am confident he will be able to contribute positively to the team,” Perez said.

At the apex of his career, Alonso became one of the players who fired Real Madrid to back-to-back Champions League titles in 2011 and 2012. He had to sit out Madrid’s loss to Atletico Madrid in this year’s final because of a club suspension for salary issues.

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