Journalists at Leverkusen's Thursday presser certainly had many questions for new B04 trainer Xabi Alonso.
|Xabi Alonso||DONOSTIA KULTURA|
Alonso joins Pellegrino Matarazzo (American, VfB Stuttgart) and Bo Svensson (Danish, FSV Mainz 05) as one of three Bundesliga trainers not to hail from Germany, Austria, or Switzerland. Naturally, league watchers are thrilled at the high-profile appointment. Alonso spoke in a mixture of German and English on the following topics:
The decision for Leverkusen after multiple past links to a Bundesliga job:
"I've been waiting for the right moment and I feel it's the right moment. My ambition and motivation to help the club are great."
On the Bundesliga in general:
"I've continued to follow the league, of course. The teams have different approaches, which is exciting. There are great coaches, including many young ones. That's great for the league, which is getting better and better. This league is very appealing."
On what he can bring to the team:
"My motivation, my desire for success and my belief that we can improve and win. This is a fresh start for the team, this should give the team new energy. That's my goal."
On his footballing philosophy:
"We want to play modern football, with intensity on and off the ball. And we need a strong winning mentality."
On his inexperience as a head-coach:
"I've trained to be a head-coach [at Real Sociedad B]. Now I've taken that step because it feels like it's the right move. I feel ready for it, I've talked to people at the club and made it clear that I'm fully galvanized."
On his thoughts about the needed-turnaround:
"Time is a luxury in football. We have a lot to do, I need to get to know the players and connect to find out what the atmosphere is like."
On his own personal fitness and potential return to the pitch:
"I ended my career five years ago. I'm no longer fit. That time is over, it's a different time now."
On his Bundesliga debut this weekend against Schalke:
"I'm looking forward to it and am highly motivated. For the team, the club, and the fans, it's very important to remain positive."