Xabi Alonso was interviewed for his club's official website after his team were presented with brand new cars by Audi at the Jarama Circuit today. The Spain international spoke about his work in the middle of the field: "My position means trying to be permanently connected to the game. This role doesn't let you disconnect and you've got to be aware of everything that's happening on the pitch, in defence as well as attack. You're the link from defence to attack; you've got to be strong, help your teammates and have an understanding of the collective." The man from Tolosarra also said that he hopes his "most important goal for Real Madrid is yet to come."
What does football have that other sports don't?
Spain is a country that loves its football, without a doubt. It's rooted in the culture. It's followed by people of all social classes and ideologies. That's the greatness of this sport.
Are you fully aware of things you're achieving with your team as well as with your country?
Some time needs to go by to evaluate things with perspective. That time will come.
What are the most important values in the dressing-room, to make the team united?
Knowing that this is a team sport and that without union you'll never reach your goals. Individually, being as demanding, professional and responsible as possible to give your best to the group.
How aware are you of the fact that you're an example for children?
There's no need to aspire to that. You have to be natural, be yourself, and try to project values and a way of acting that would be positive for the children that watch football.
What things do the fans do that give you a lift?
When you have a painful loss or when you're having a bad run, it's the small gestures of support which spur you on the most, because it's at those moments that we need the fans. Without them, this sport wouldn't exist.
What would your advice be for someone who wants to be a football player?
Everything takes time and sport demands a huge effort and sacrifice. You shouldn't be too impatient with yourself. All good work will have its fruits.