Not Liverpool FC, not FC Bayern and, for the time being, not Real Madrid either: Coach Xabi Alonso does not see his mission at Bayer Leverkusen fulfilled and will remain with the Bundesliga leaders beyond the season. The former world and European champion, who was courted by numerous top international clubs, announced this in a press conference.

Last week he had a good meeting with the club management. “And I informed you that I would continue as coach at Leverkusen,” said the 42-year-old Spaniard, whose contract in Leverkusen runs until 2026. “My job here is definitely not over yet and we still have a lot to do.”

This may indicate that Alonso’s desire is to replace Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid in 2025 or 2026. The Basque took over Bayer in 17th place on October 5, 2022. After a difficult first few months, advancing to the playoffs for the Europa League in Monaco in February 2023 was a kind of initial spark. Bayer and Alonso have played 57 competitive games since then. They won 42 of them and lost only three. Alonso led Leverkusen into the Europa League and into the quarter-finals of the current competition.

Leverkusen with a chance of three titles

The Werkself are still undefeated in all 38 competitive games this season. In the fight for the German championship, Bayer has the best chance with a ten point lead over Munich. In the cup, Leverkusen are the only Bundesliga team favored in the semi-finals, and they will face West Ham United in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

Alonso also introduced eight players into their national team squads for the first time this season. This also applies to Alejandro Grimaldo, who is already 28 years old, or Robert Andrich, who is even a year older.

Alonso carefully planned his second career as a coach. He started with Real Madrid’s U14 team, then took over the second team of his hometown club Real Sociedad San Sebastián for three years. He canceled Borussia Mönchengladbach with current Bayern sports director Max Eberl in 2021 because he didn’t feel ready yet.

A player with numerous titles, Alonso played for Real Madrid, Liverpool and Bayern. The ties to all three clubs are so close that a follow-up commitment to any of these teams after his time in Leverkusen would be possible.