Recently Retired Liverpool Legend Claims He Was 'Really Close' to Joining Juventus
Recently retired Liverpool and Real Madrid star Xabi Alonso has predicted who he thinks will achieve Champions League glory this season, and how close he was to joining Juventus before he eventually joined Real Madrird in 2008.
Alonso retired last season after finishing his career at Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. The 35-year-old performed at his peak until the end of his career, scoring three goals for Bayern in 38 total appearances last season.
According to a report by Football Italia, Alonso has spoken of his appreciation of Serie A giants Juventus, while also praising Napoli for their "fearless" style of play.
Alonso said: "Juve? They’re a team among the favourites [for the Champions League]. They played two Champions League Finals in three years and it’s no coincidence.
"They’re very close to the top, and sooner or later they’ll end up winning it. I know how much the players want it, but there’s so much competition.
"I was really close to Juve. I’d have liked to play in Italy but there was no agreement between Liverpool and Juve."
Alonso then heaped praise on Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri and his side, saying: "I really like this Napoli. I like Sarri’s philosophy and the desire of his team to always have the ball at their feet.
"Napoli are attacking and fearless. They have a visible mentality on the pitch and I appreciate it. I also have many friends there: Pepe Reina, Callejon and Albiol.
"I often hear from them and I like to watch them play in [Napoli’s] system. As well as in Italy, they can be a surprise package in Europe."