Xabi Alonso to return to hometown of Oviedo to persuade father to consider academy

The World Cup winner said he looked back on his time at Liverpool fondly

The former Liverpool captain Xabi Alonso is returning to his hometown of Oviedo on Wednesday in a bid to persuade his father to accept the offer of a youth football academy.

Football is a way of life in western Spain but for some, like Xabi, the rigours of the physical game at a high level are enough to make the move across the bay from Barcelona.

“I have always wanted to come home because a lot of people from Oviedo have always cared about me,” Alonso, 35, told El País. “Now I have the opportunity of joining the local association where I feel comfortable.

“I grew up around Oviedo and I learned to play football here and from where I am it is important to find some way to give back to the place I grew up, to have a presence and be around those who believe in me.”

The player, who played 788 games for Real Madrid before joining Liverpool for £23.5m in 2008, explained his ambition to take another step up in his career after a loan spell at Juventus earlier this year.

“The most difficult thing is that in football it’s very hard to move from one situation to another,” said Alonso. “I have always wanted to do something else, I want to try something new but when you are training and trying to win, you always have that one year to prepare for a new situation.

“I am a person who was born in football. This is the DNA of my body. I am going to try to find a way.

“It’s not enough to get fit and do the things we did. I think we were at the very top of the game, and with my family we have always been able to be very happy.”

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