The Bayern Munich boss believes the midfielder, who turns 33 on Tuesday, has many years ahead of him in his career
Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso can be a star for many years yet, according to head coach Pep Guardiola.
The Spanish World Cup winner moved from Real Madrid to the Allianz Arena in the summer and has established himself as an important player for the Bundesliga champions, particularly in the absence of Bastian Schweinsteiger.
The deep-lying playmaker has made 18 appearances for Bayern this term and is set to face Manchester City in the Champions League on his 33rd birthday, yet despite his age, Guardiola is confident he can be a key player for some time to come.
“He can carry on playing this position for several years, no problem,” the Bayern boss said. “[Joining Bayern] was the perfect solution for him.”
Alonso himself says he is still hungry to keep learning as a player despite having enjoyed remarkable success in his career to date.
“Times have changed compared to when I was a young player,” the former Liverpool midfielder said.
“Experience and knowledge count, but the most important thing is that I still enjoy the game.”
Bayern have already booked their place in the next round of the Champions League, but Guardiola says his team will be fully focused at the Etihad against a City side still vying for the chance to qualify.
“We’re delighted to already be through,” he said. “But the Champions League is always prestigious, both for the club and for me as a coach.
“They are strong in the Premier League and now they play at home.”
“It’s hard to say why they are not so successful in the Champions League,” added Alonso. “City is one of the best teams in the world. In the group, it is now difficult for them, but they will give everything.
“Football is not mathematics. Money alone does not determine everything.”