Search icon


22nd May 2024

Xabi Alonso speaks about his time living in Ireland ahead of Europa League final

Callum Boyle

Xabi Alonso GAA

Xabi Alonso spent his teenage days in Co Meath

Xabi Alonso spent his press conference reminiscing about his days in Ireland as a teenager ahead of the Europa League final.

Alonso and his Bayer Leverkusen side are looking to continue their extraordinary season in Dublin on Wednesday night as they face Atalanta in Europe’s second elite competition.

The Spaniard knows the country well having travelled to the Emerald Isle to study English as a teenager, spending those days in Co Meath.

During that time, he is said to have picked up a few GAA skills and remembers the days fondly.

“No, that moment it (European final) was not in my plans. I came here (at) 14 to Kells (in Co. Meath), I enjoyed my summer, it’s always great to come to Dublin since then, since my Liverpool years,” Alonso said.

“Since then I have had the connection with Ireland that’s strong, it’s great to be here, the stadium is fantastic and our fans will enjoy the whole day, the pre-match, and it will be a great match.”

Alonso’s side on the verge of history.

As well as winning their first-ever Bundesliga title, Leverkusen are yet to lose a game this season.

They could end their campaign unbeaten in all three competitions they have played in should they win the Europa League and the DFB Pokal finals.

The former Real Madrid man is under no illusion about how difficult Wednesday’s game will be.

“We respect Atalanta but I have confidence in us, we have a confidence that we can make it,” said Alonso.

“The energy is good, the confidence is good, putting it all together we have reached this moment and now we have to use this week to live our best and enjoy it.

“If you make it to the final you don’t simply go to make up the numbers, you go to win it, it’s a one-off game and we will try and produce one last effort for this season.

“The team are ready to do so, the team go in with the right mindset that has brought us a lot of success so far.”

Related links:

WATCH: Liverpool BOTTLED the title race 🤬 | Who will win the Premier League?