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22nd May 2024

Xabi Alonso spotted out running in Dublin before Europa League final

Simon Kelly

The Spaniard was taking in the sights of the city.

Xabi Alonso was spotted on a run through Dublin City on Wednesday morning, just hours before his Bayer Leverkusen team take on Atalanta in the Europa League Final.

The former Spanish international was spotted by passers-by as he jogged near the Rosie Hackett Bridge along the quays with his staff ahead of the match at the Aviva Stadium.

“Just seen and said hello to Xabi Alonso jogging down the quays with his back room staff,” said one onlooker.

“He gave me the thumbs up. Major fan boy moment for me!”

Xabi Alonso spotted out running in Dublin before Europa League final

In his press conference on Monday evening, Alonso spoke fondly of the summer he spent in Ireland when he was younger.

“I came here (at) 14 to Kells (in Co. Meath), I enjoyed my summer,” he told the Irish media.

“It’s always great to come to Dublin since then, since my Liverpool years,” he continued.

“Since then I have had the connection with Ireland that’s strong, it’s great to be here, the stadium is fantastic and our fans will enjoy the whole day, the pre-match, and it will be a great match.”

Alonso has overseen an incredible unbeaten run this season with his Bayer Leverkusen team, winning the league for the first time in the club’s history.

Leverkusen won the Uefa Cup back in 1988 and are looking to secure their second European trophy this evening, but Alonso foresees a tough encounter.

“We respect Atalanta but I have confidence in us, we have a confidence that we can make it,” said the Bayer boss.

“The energy is good, the confidence is good, putting it all together we have reached this moment and now we have to use this week to live our best and enjoy it.

“If you make it to the final you don’t simply go to make up the numbers, you go to win it, it’s a one-off game and we will try and produce one last effort for this season.

“The team are ready to do so, the team go in with the right mindset that has brought us a lot of success so far.”

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