There was once a period of time where Liverpool Football Club boasted the best midfield in the world.
Turn the clock back to 2007, where passes were beautiful, goals were abundant and the midfield was packed on Merseyside.
“Xabi Alonso, Momo Sissoko, Gerrard and Mascherano,” was sung loud and proud by the ever-enthusiastic Kop, as Liverpool and their supporters were watching something that they felt was truly special.
That was then, this is now.
The song doesn’t quite have the same ring to it anymore, as it is hard to envision the Kop singing “Jordan Hendo, Luis Alberto, Gerrard and Coutinho,” to the familiar tune, despite Liverpool’s recent success.
Apart from Gerrard, the great Liverpool midfielders of yesteryear have gone very different ways.
Momo Sissoko, who turned out to be the weakest of the bunch, finds himself to be unemployed after spending time in Italy and France. Javier Mascherano is hardly even a midfielder anymore, as the Argentinean is mainly deployed at center-half by Spanish powerhouse Barcelona.
Though, the player most beloved by the Anfield faithful has long been a Mr. Xabier Alonso, as Liverpool supporters have spent years dreaming of a reunion between the club and their Spanish maestro.
Love Xabi Alonso as a player for Liverpool, but really, he wasn't ever the right player to come into this Liverpool team anyway!#AllbestXabi— Karl M M (@RingoFire05) January 8, 2014
Can just say that I unconditionally love xabi Alonso and if he came back to play for Liverpool I would weep like a little child from joy— HotMisunderstood Guy (@WeirdTwtwr) January 8, 2014
However, the recent news of Alonso’s re-signing with Real Madrid finally puts an end to a fantasy that has been in the heads of many a Liverpool supporter since Alonso’s departure on August 5, 2009.
But that is all it was: a fantasy. A dream that Liverpool’s former No. 14 would leave what might be the greenest of pastures to give his adopted home a boost.
Alonso will be a Red for life, that much is for sure. He is an honorary Scouser, and has even gone as far as to raise his son to support the club he played for from 2004-09, according to The Times Online:
I am still a Liverpool fan and will be forever, absolutely. The things that I have lived and the experiences I had during those five years are deep in my heart and the passion and respect I had for the club and its supporters are still the same. Hopefully I can transmit to my son what Liverpool Football Club means and how special it is, as he was born in the city and he will visit it in the future.
However, it is time for even the most enamored Liverpool supporter to move past the Xabi Alonso pipe-dream. The club must move past their former midfielder and look towards their future.
Alonso took to Twitter to confirm the news, as the 32-year-old Spaniard reiterated that the Bernabeu, and Madrid, is "home":
I'm delighted and honoured to announce that Real Madrid will continue to be my home for another two years. pic.twitter.com/OPthuBBZxc— Xabi Alonso (@XabiAlonso) January 8, 2014
It is now time for Liverpool to focus on bringing forth the next generation of players, as the Kop hopes to someday boast having the best midfield in the world yet again.
What is your favorite memory of Xabi Alonso during his time in red? Have your say with a comment below, or tweet @R_Tolmich to discuss the Spaniard's best Liverpool moments!