ready for some posing?
The Xabi Alonso pose section™, Real Sociedad edition (where it probably all started).
As you can see, Xabi was in top form against his old team, from shouting out instructions and directing the flow of play…
… to of course posing, affirming the nickname Carletto gave him, and being his usual muy jefe self.
He wasn’t the only former txuri urdin player to play in this game. We also had… the beardless version of Xabi Alonso?
While Illarra was waiting to check into the game, Paul Clement gave him instructions and some last minute advice (Zizou was also hovering over Illarra, looking very elegant and rivaling Xabi in the posing stakes). Images via “El Día Después.”
Here’s a close-up of the tactics sheet, which shows that Íñigo Martínez is “very dangerous” (remember this goal that Xabi called the best one ever scored at La Anoeta?). Given that Illarra played with him (Íñigo) for many years and that they’re great friends (I wonder if they miss carpooling together?), I’m sure he knows that already, no? Before the game began, Asier went over to chat with his former teammates and other Real Sociedad staff. His nickname there is “guisante” (pea) because that’s what “ilar” means in the Basque language.
The sheet also had the note that Xabi Alonso’s good friend Xabi Prieto takes corners with his right foot. I wonder if Xabi (Alonso) helped to put that sheet together? After all, he’s The Professor!