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Xabi Alonso spoke of it being an “honour” to work at Bayer Leverkusen after guiding the club to their first ever Bundesliga title.

Having been appointed in October 2022 when the club were in the relegation zone, Alonso has transformed Leverkusen — who are 16 points clear at the top of the standings with five rounds of games remaining. Alonso, who has been linked with the Liverpool and Bayern Munich jobs, has already insisted he will stay at Leverkusen beyond this season and spoke of his pride in his position.

“I am so proud of all the players,” Alonso said after the match, amid the celebrations. “For me, it’s on honour to work here.

“Finally, we can say Bayer Leverkusen is German champion. It’s a huge honour for all of us. It was totally earned by the team, by the club, by the fans. Everyone, all departments, were working and fighting for this title so we are a result of that hard work over many years. This is a moment to enjoy and it is a huge success for this club. The first title is always special for everyone. So to be part of this history feels incredible.”

When asked at what point he believed Leverkusen would win the league, the Basque head coach highlighted the 3-0 victory at home to Bayern on February 10 — a result that put them five points clear at the of the standings.

“It could have turned out that they would have been ahead of us,” he explained. “We didn’t talk about winning the title in the locker room that day but we all knew. We were all thinking about it.

“The consistency, the quality of our game over the season, we earned this title. It’s not easy and we were living it every day, which made us believe. It’s an incredible team, all the players worked so hard even the young guys. Everyone was always preparing hard. We night need a little more time to reflect on what we accomplished but right now, we want to enjoy this.”


How Bayer Leverkusen won the Bundesliga: Alonso magic, breaking up cliques and clever transfers

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