He is said to have magical powers. This was once the advertising slogan for a high-proof herbal drink. The saying could easily have been written on Xabier Alonso Olano (42), known as “Xabi”. Whatever the native Basque with the eternally calm look touches – it turns into gold. On Sunday evening around 7:20 p.m., Xabi Alonso can achieve magical things on several occasions: his Bayer Leverkusen team can become German champions in men’s football for the first time in the club’s history – and the chances are more than good. If that really happened, the smart Xabi would have broken a double spell: FC Bayern Munich’s seemingly endless championship streak would have stopped. And Bayer’s reputation as “vice cusus” would finally be history. How does Xabi do that? Who has his back? And why does he stay in Leverkusen even though the most famous clubs in the world wanted to sign him?

A press conference before a Bundesliga game in February demonstrated how much Xabi Alonso currently has the (media) world under control. At that time, a journalist asked him whether his parents would support him again as a “good luck charm” from the stands. “No, it’s too cold in Germany,” replied Xabi. And the crowd of journalists had fun with him. They knew that he meant that politely and in no way condescendingly. A look at his biography shows: Alonso could not become anything other than a footballer. It was his destiny. His father Periko (71) was himself a professional at the big FC Barcelona and twice Spanish champion with San Sebastian, later also a coach. It is said that at family gatherings, father and son first analyze the most important scenes in the game before talking about personal matters. His brother Mikel (43), a former footballer in the Spanish second division, and his younger brother Jon, a referee in Spain, are also possible discussion partners. Conclusion: Xabi couldn’t do anything else.

Success makes you sexy. Xabi Alonso knows that too. With Liverpool FC, he won the Champions League title in 2005 as a player in the “Miracle of Istanbul” in one of the most legendary finals in football history. And he later won hearts as a midfield strategist at Real Madrid. As coach of Bayer Leverkusen, he has currently achieved a level of popularity worthy of George Clooney. Alone: ​​Xabi Alonso’s private life is as solid as German gray bread. He has been married to his great love, the Spanish actress Nagore Aranburu (48), since 2009. A look at their Instagram profile speaks volumes: dream couple.

There was already a spark between the two at a hotel reception in Liverpool in 2004. Sounds unromantic, but it wasn’t. After Alonso signed for the famous Liverpool FC, he temporarily stayed in the “Hope Street Hotel” in Liverpool – the name said it all: “At the reception there was a girl who looked so good that I couldn’t believe she was smiling at me .” Nervous and in love, he is said to have told his teammates about her during training. Today both are parents to son Jontxu Aramburu Alonso (16) and the two girls Emma Alonso (10) and Ane Aramburu Alonso (14). The family lives in Düsseldorf and has Xabi’s back.

Internet videos with Xabi Alonso now enjoy cult status. What he says has weight, seems important, funny or both. Whatever he does, he always succeeds. Xabi Alonso is not the most verbose coach in the Bundesliga, he primarily lets actions and numbers do the talking: After the 2-0 win against West Ham United in the Europa League, Bayer Leverkusen are undefeated in all competitions for 42 times. Will he and his team even lose again? Xabi and his team could still play a total of eleven competitive games this season. Be it the Bundesliga, Europa League or DFB Cup: Bayer has excellent chances of winning the title everywhere. At the same time, world clubs such as Bayern Munich, Liverpool FC, Manchester United and FC Barcelona are plagued by coaching concerns. A move to his former club Real Madrid wasn’t completely ruled out either. Everyone wanted it, none of them got it – for now. Because even in this question, Xabi remains what he always was: loyal. He wants to develop further as a coach and show the big players from Leverkusen. And hardly anyone doubts that the next magical Xabi moment will follow on Sunday around 7:20 p.m.