Bayern are giving their biggest fight of the season so far on Tuesday night, they have to score at least twice at Bernabeu and beat Real Madrid to stay alive in the Champions League, but Xabi Alonso turned the spotlight elsewhere for a short while, talking to El Pais about the time he almost became a Barcelona player.
It happened not long before I left for Real Madrid. Liverpool told me that they wanted to sell me, Benitez (Liverpool’s manager back then) too, and Pep showed an interest in my situation
the Spaniard said, before explaining why the deal did not happen, after all.
He wanted to sign me because, as he told Rafa, I was the type of player who would fit his model. But he had doubts because Busquets had just come through and had the makings of a tremendous player. Guardiola chose him, and he wasn’t proved wrong
Alonso remembered, talking to the Spanish newspaper a day before Bayern face Real Madrid in the return leg of their Champions League quarterfinal.
The rest is well-known. Alonso signed at Madrid, but Guardiola did get his wish to have him as a player later on, when the two of them worked together at Bayern.