Steven Gerrard apart from being an absolute world class midfielder himself played alongside many world class midfielders. David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Frank Lampard, Javier Mascherano etc are few of the names. But ask Gerrard who he'll pick as the pick of the bunch and without hesitation, he'll say Xabi Alonso. The pair were at the heart of Liverpool's midfield from 2004 to 2009 and during that time, shared some amazing moments.
While Steven Gerrard was the driving force, pumping his team with passion and enthusiasm whenever required, Xabi Alonso was the calming presence in that team. Alonso used to dictate tempo at his will and was always the cool head whenever required in clutch situations. The duo was arguably the best in the Premier League at that time only behind Frank Lampard and Michael Ballack from Chelsea. Alonso after retirement received many compliments and good wishes but Gerrard's message to him is surely going to melt your heart.
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Xabi Alonso was the hero in that historic Champions League final in Istanbul. Liverpool were 3 goals down at half time to an AC Milan side featuring Kaka, Maldini, Shevchenko, Pirlo etc when they in what were the most historic 9 minutes scored 3 to ensure the comeback and win on penalties. Xabi Alonso scored the third of the 3 comeback goals.
Alonso and Gerrard enjoyed a special relationship during their Liverpool days. The duo were best friends on and off the pitch and loved playing with each other until in 2009, Alonso was sold to Real Madrid.
"I just want to say a huge congratulations on your retirement. What a special career." Gerrard says in Alonso's tribute video.
"For me, probably the most enjoyable partner throughout my career as a midfielder. The best passer of a ball I've ever played with. You deserve all the accolades that you get mate. What a special career for club and country." he added.
"I'm very jealous of your world cup medal. I'm very jealous of your league titles in Germany and Spain. But you deserve it and, as I said, I couldn't ask for a better midfield partner and, when you left, it broke my heart." It's worth pointing out that despite many attempts, Gerrard doesn't have a World Cup or Premier League medal.
"But you'll always have a special place at this football club, and you're always welcome to come and visit." Indeed Alonso will always be remembered as a Liverpool hero and we wish this Liverpool legend a happy farewell.