There are plenty of men who could claim to be the world’s coolest footballer.
Andrea Pirlo, Gianluigi Buffon, Mats Hummels… there are a few contenders for the title. However, when it comes to being naturally, inherently cool, Xabi Alonso remains football’s top man.
Sadly, the former Liverpool and Real Madrid ace, now 35, will retire after Bayern Munich’s clash with Freiburg on Saturday, drawing the curtains on a trophy-laden career.
On the plus side, at least we now have the perfect excuse to remind the world why the Spanish midfielder is so damn cool…
1. This picture
You know those daft specs you have to wear when you’re staring at an eclipse? How many footballers do you think could make them look cool?
We’ll tell you how many: ONE.
2. The reception he got from Real Madrid’s players when he faced them with Bayern
You have to be a genuinely awesome human to provoke this sort of response from your former colleagues.
3. His taste in music
Mr Cool loves a bit of Lou Reed and the Velvet Undergound.
If you don’t know anything about Lou Reed and the Velvet Undergound, then basically, YOU ARE NOT AS COOL AS XABI ALONSO.
4. The fact he can make a ‘stawberry blonde’ beard look good
A true test of a man’s cool status.
5. This gif
6. Somehow making a ridicuolus squad number seem acceptable
A central midfielder wearing number three? A hanging offence in most cases.
In the case of Xabi Alonso? The sort of effortlessly innovative style decision that will see holding midfielders everywhere thinking they should be wearing number three.
7. His reaction to taking the worst corner in the history of football
Bayern Munich vs Arsenal, November 2015. As ever, Alonso looks cooler than any of us ever will as he steps up to take a corner… before booting…