Xabi Alonso reveals what Mikel Arteta asked him during private phone call with Arsenal manager

Xabi Alonso’s conversation with close friend Mikel Arteta was pivotal to Bayer Leverkusen’s run to the Europa League final.

Xabi Alonso reveals what Mikel Arteta asked him during private phone call with Arsenal manager
Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso has revealed that a conversation with Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta helped his side beat West Ham in the Europa League.Alonso sensationally led Leverkusen to an historic first Bundesliga title last season as they set a European record of 51 games in a row without a loss.

They also lifted the German Cup to complete a domestic double and narrowly missed out on a treble after losing to Atalanta in the Europa Leaguefinal.

Their performance has grabbed headlines across the footballing world with Alonso deciding to stay put despite being linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

Now, with the season over, the Spanish manager has opened up on his love for football and the incredible campaign, writing a first-person account in The Players’ Tribune.

The 42-year-old’s eye-opening article revealed the commitment and passion he has given to the role and how help from a fellow coach helped keep their unbeaten run alive.

In the piece, Alonso spoke about a private phone call with his ‘old friend’ Mikel Arteta in which they discussed Leverkusen’s upcoming opponents at the time, West Ham.

“I was lucky to have a friend in our neighbourhood who was also crazy about football. His name was Mikel,” Alonso explained.

“Every day, we were taking our skateboards down to the beach to play tennis, to surf, and of course to play football.

“He wanted to win so badly, even if it was just a game on the beach. It was a love for the game that you cannot teach. “You are born with it, I think. It bonded us very closely. And it still does, to this day.

“A few months ago, I got a call from my old friend Mikel. And as always, we talked football. He said, ‘We’ve got Bayern Munich in the Champions League this week, what do you think?’ And I said, ‘We’ve got West Ham, what do you think?'”

While Bayern got the better of the Gunners, Leverkusen brushed past West Ham and the insight from Arteta is likely to have helped.

The fact Alonso has decided to remain at the club speaks volumes of his character despite being held in such high esteem by a number of top European clubs.

If Leverkusen can fend off interest in several of their key players this summer, he has every chance of building on the legacy he has already established at BayArena.

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