Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso has confirmed he will hang up his boots from professional football at the end of the ongoing season, the German Bundesliga giants confirmed.
The World Cup-winning 35-year-old, who had also plied his trade with Liverpool and Real Madrid, took to Twitter earlier on Thursday to come up with what seems to be a farewell message. Alonso also told the club's official website later that he wanted to quit while playing at the highest level and that Bayern has offered him a chance to do so.
Notably, Alonso has been playing an integral part of the team, who are chasing their fifth Bundesliga title in the ongoing season, after which his contract with the club will expire. Having featured in 27 games in all competitions this season for Bayern, the Spaniard was also part of their 10-2 (aggregate) win over Arsenal in their Champions League Round of 16.
"It was not an easy decision to make, but I believe it is the right time. I always thought it would be better to quit sooner rather than later. I still feel good, but I believe this is the right moment," the Spaniard told FC Bayern.tv live, as quoted by Bayern's official website.
"I wanted to end my career still at the highest level, and Bayern is the highest level. I am incredibly proud and happy to play for FC Bayern and to be a part of this family."
Notably, Alonso joined the German champions in 2014 and has won two Bundesliga titles with them. The Spanish midfielder, who started his career at Real Sociedad, rose to prominence during his five-year stint with Premier League giants Liverpool during which he won a Champions League title with the club. In 2009, he switched to Real Madrid, during which he won another Champions League winners medal.