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Xabi Alonso sees difficult gap to fill after retirement from football

Goal.com logo Goal.com 20-05-2017

Xabi Alonso says he will find it difficult to find a new challenge to replace football as he ends a glittering playing career.

The midfielder played his last professional game as Bayern Munich beat Freiburg 4-1 at the Allianz Arena on Saturday before celebrating their Bundesliga title win.

It is his final in a long list of trophies, which include two Champions League crowns and five league titles acros spells at Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern, as well as the World Cup and two European Championships with Spain.

The 35-year-old will now have to get used to a relatively quieter life as his playing days end.

"I´m very satisfied to close my time as footballer," he told reporters. "Inside there is a lot of emotion. There were moments [in the game] I was about to break.

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"The sensation I had today was a mix of emotion, nostalgia, melancholy and sadness, but at the same time happiness, it´s a lot of stuff and I don´t know how to process it."

He added: "I accept I am going to miss playing because it's such an important part in my life. It's going to be difficult to fill that gap. Life goes on. New challenges for me, it's time to try it.

"It's a beautiful feeling. These memories will stay in our mind forever. I remember playing with my dad, and my kids will remember this as well."

As well as Alonso, Philipp Lahm brought his career to a close on Saturday, and despite the iconic figures departing, the midfielder believes things will get even better in Bavaria.

"The future is good, the future is bright. Even with two big players leaving the club, they shouldn't have problems.

"There are still players in the team with experience and still young. For sure we are going to see Bayern next year fighting for everything."

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