Alonso: “Rafa pushed me out”

Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has confirmed that he began to reconsider his future when the club tried to sell him during the summer of 2008.

Throughout last summer Alonso looked on the verge of a move to Italian giants Juventus to join former teammate Momo Sissoko who had recently joined the Turin club.

But when Reds boss Rafa Benitez failed to capture Alonso’s replacement Gareth Barry from Aston Villa, the Spanish international stayed at Anfield and sealed a £30million switch to Real Madrid this summer.

“Last summer the club proposed to me that I might have to be sold to find funds for new players,” Alonso told Sky Sports.

“It was a difficult decision or difficult moment to accept that. I accepted that as a professional and that moment probably changed my mind and I thought that maybe from that moment that maybe it was time for a change.”

Real Madrid pose for team shot before match against DC United
Alonso (second from right, back) lining up with his new teammates for a pre-season friendly last month.

However Alonso continued to thank the Kop for their support over his years at the club and says he has left with fond memories.

He added, “After five years I have experienced wonderful nights at Anfield, to have experienced the support of probably the best fans in the world.

“That’s why I have always been very grateful and I will always have them in my mind and it has been a pleasure.”

He also said that he never fell out with Benitez, contrary to reports.

“There has been a lot of rumours but I have always said that it has been simply a professional relationship,” he said.

“I have always tried to do what he asked to do. What he asked of me on the pitch, to do the talking on the pitch, and that’s that.”