Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Real Madrid's Player of the Season: Xabi Alonso

The season after spending truck-loads of money on players comes with a lot of expectations, and when you're Real Madrid people expect good football, trophies and a whole lot more from you. The expectations are so much that despite securing 96 points in a season and scoring 102 goals and conceding a mere 35 goals in the process your season is still deemed a failure.

I beg to differ, the last season wasn't a complete failure before the sacking of Manuel Pellegrini, but with Manuel Pellegrini sacked Real Madrid are back at square one, and with a new coach all the work of gelling and playing to a system will have to be done again.But still, last season Real Madrid regained the style with which they play football (2008-09 season was an utter disappointment, the football was very ugly that season after losing Mahamadou Diarra and Ruben De La Red for the season) and with that attractive attacking football also came a defensive stability despite missing arguably the best central defender they have—Pepe.

Now I know many people have different players as their Player of the Season, some have Cristiano Ronaldo, some have Gonzalo Higuain, some have Sergio Ramos, and some like me also have Xabi Alonso as their Player of the Season.

The reason why I chose Xabi Alonso as the Player of The Season is that I always feel that enough credit isn't given to the best midfielder in the world, be it in the Spanish National team, Liverpool or Real Madrid. Xabi Alonso does all the work be it passing, breaking up plays, winning balls back, covering up Gago/Lass's (Busquet's in Spain) mistakes and with all that Xabi also brings a much needed level of calmness in the center of midfield.

Xabi Alonso is one of the smartest players to wear the royal white jersey, he's always aware of the runner and can play one-touch football very nicely. Xabi's short grounded passing is like running a warm knife through butter and his long sweeping, attack changing accurate balls are just magnificent. Xabi Alonso's passing range is the envy of many midfielders. I'm sorry I get carried away whenever we talk about Xabi Alonso's skill, that's why I also have added the video of Alvaro Arbeloa's goal against Atletico Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu to show you what I mean.

All the people who watched Xabi Alonso this season, know how important he really is, we can do without Cristiano or Kaka or Higuain but we can't live without Xabi Alonso. All season long Xabi Alonso has sat back more than he usually does (covering for Gago and Lass), broke up many of the opposition's plays, sat back so Sergio Ramos could bomb forward, linked the defense with midfield brilliantly, made assists like the one above to bail out the team and is the biggest reason for just conceding only 35 goals last season.

Xabi Alonso is the best £30 million ever spent. I hope he gets a better midfield partner than Lass or Gago this time, Mahamadou would do just fine though.

Hoping for some trophies to match our performance next season! Hala Madrid!

(If you have anyone other than Xabi Alonso in mind, don't be shy, speak up, comment below)

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