Xabi Alonso has returned to his roots. The Spanish international winger, who spent most of his career playing for hometown club Oviedo, was presented as an ambassador for the club at a ceremony on Friday.
Alonso had his first opportunity to play at the stadium in a semi-pro game and was a member of the Spanish national team’s academy, Valencia Futbol Club.
“I do not know why I came, but I am here for Oviedo and I want to help Oviedo,” Alonso said in a video announcing his return to the club. “I want to help in the fights against racism, those problems that are happening, because this is where it happens.”
Alonso scored 162 goals in his 700 games in the Spanish league and had a 49-goal career with Real Madrid and Liverpool. He left Liverpool after the 2013-14 season and joined Bayern Munich in the 2013-14 season.
Oviedo, which is 43rd in Spain’s fourth division, fell behind alongside Sevilla, Levante and Athletic Bilbao in Alonso’s home town. Since signing his first contract with Oviedo at age 10, Alonso did not miss a minute in his entire career. His dream came true last year when he led Oviedo to the 17th division championship.
The club opened a book of all Alonso’s appearances in a bid to win a vote to name their stadium after him. On Thursday, the stadium announced his comeback to face the first division rival Valladolid on Sept. 8.