Former Premier League boss Jose Mourinho, in a fascinating twist of fate, foresaw Xabi Alonso’s coaching potential years ago. Alonso’s coaching prowess has led Bayer Leverkusen to the top of the Bundesliga table, presently, five points clear of German heavyweights Bayern Munich, as the Bay Arena-based outfit registered a thrilling 3-0 win over the reigning champions last weekend.
Mourinho's prediction four years ago is becoming a reality as Alonso swiftly guides Bayer Leverkusen through the season, the only team across the top five European leagues to remain unbeaten to date.
Mourinho's Crystal Ball
The 61-year-old’s foresight recognized Xabi Alonso's managerial potential during their time at Real Madrid. The echoes of Mourinho's predictions now reverberate as Alonso shines at Bayer Leverkusen.
Even before the Spaniard took charge of his boyhood club Real Sociedad at the start of his managerial career, Mourinho prophesied about the success of Alonso during a TopEleven event in 2019.
The Portuguese tactician said:
"With Xabi Alonso you always saw there was a manager there. Similarly to me, his father was a player. He grew up with a father [Periko] who was a player then a manager, and then he became a player, of course much better than I was."
Emphasizing on the fact that Alonso has been nurtured in football culture throughout his life, Mourinho talked about the highly skilled managers he has worked under.
"His knowledge of the game was very high. And then he played in Spain, England and Germany. And he was coached by [Pep] Guardiola in Bayern, by myself in Real Madrid, by [Carlo] Ancelotti in Real Madrid and by [Rafa] Benitez in Liverpool,"- he continued
"So if you put all that together then I would say that Xabi has conditions to be a very good coach."
Xabi Alonso, the Managerial Maestro Set for Liverpool?
Jurgen Klopp announced he will be leaving Anfield at the end of the season and with Xabi Alonso, already a hit in Bundesliga and also being a former Liverpool player, he remains one of the ideal candidates to succeed Klopp this summer.
Bayer Leverkusen's Assurance: Alonso Stays Put
However, Bayer Leverkusen's sporting director, Simon Rolfes, dispelled rumors by expressing confidence in retaining Xabi Alonso, as reported by Daily Mirror. The factors, including contracts and team dynamics, reinforce Leverkusen's belief in Alonso's continued leadership beyond this term.
Only time will tell what the future holds for Xabi Alonso and Liverpool, but, regardless of the outcome, the 42-year-old manager surely has a bright future ahead.