The surprise of a Swedish journalist to Xabi Alonso: «I was 13 years old. We traveled from Donostia by bus. “It took us two days.”

Thursday, November 30, 2023, 11:56 | Updated 4:35 p.m.


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Xabi Alonso landed in Gothenburg yesterday to lead his team, Bayer Leverkusen, this Thursday in the duel on matchday five of the Europa League against Swedish team Hacken. The match will be played at the Ullevi Stadium, a field that is no stranger to Alonso, who had his first experience on that green more than a quarter of a century ago, back in 1995. A local journalist surprised the Tolosa native yesterday at the previous press conference. to this Thursday’s game by giving him two photos of that experience and asking him if he remembered: “Of course,” Xabi responded with a smile on his face and passing the images to his player Nathan Tella, who also looked at them surprised.

«It was my first experience in an international tournament. With the Antiguoko. In the Gothia Cup, one of the most important youth competitions and against teams from all over the world. I remember that we traveled from San Sebastián by bus. That we stopped in Germany and that we arrived here (Gothenburg) after two days. It was a great experience and we reached the final,” explained the man from Tolosa.

And looking at the photo he kept remembering that 1995 tournament: «We had a good team. Look, here’s Mikel Arteta… those are good memories. My first game in such a big stadium! And I like to know that the tournament continues to be so well received. Antiguoko managed to reach the final of that tournament, with Xabi Alonso as captain.

Xabi Alonso, as captain of Antiguoko in the Gothia Cup tournament in 1995. Gothic Cup

The German team has already qualified for the next round of the Europa League with two games left to close the group stage, and Xabi continues his almost unblemished career this year in the Bundesliga, where they remain leaders, and in Europe. “We are not going to take this game easy, there is no time for that,” said Alonso with a view to the next seven official matches in 21 days until Christmas. “Once again, we have prepared this match in the best possible way and we will approach it with a high level of concentration.”

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2023-11-30 15:35:01
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