Xabi Alonso: Guardiola and Mourinho both great leaders

The midfielder has spoken about the pair’s respective qualities having worked under both men during his career

Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso has hailed Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho as “great leaders”.

The Spaniard played under Mourinho during his time at Real Madrid before joining the former Barcelona boss at the Allianz Arena in August in a €10 million deal.

The two coaches clashed repeatedly when in charge of the Clasico rivals, but Alonso says they do have one trait in common.

He told Marca: “They are different, everyone has their own way of working and personality, but they are both great leaders who can win over a dressing room.

“I’m very lucky to have worked with both of them.”

Alonso will face former rivals Barcelona when Bayern take on the Catalans in the semi-finals of the Champions League and has predicted a meeting with former club Madrid in the final.

“It’s bound to happen,” he added. “I had a very strong emotional connection with Madrid but hopefully we would come out on top.”

Bayern face a Barcelona side with arguably the strongest attack in Europe in Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, with the trio amassing 102 goals between them this season.

But Alonso says he hasn’t been surprised by their success given their individual quality. “We know they have three crucial players in attack. But nothing I have seen of them has surprised me.

“They’ve done what I expected of them.”

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