Xabi Alonso signs for Almería on loan as Real Madrid defender seeks first start

The first Ballon d’Or award winner since Brazil’s Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso has come home to Real Madrid, where he began his career, signing on loan for La Liga’s bottom club Almería in La Liga for the rest of the season.

Alonso has struggled to get into the Real Madrid side since he arrived from Liverpool in 2010 and came off the bench in Saturday’s La Liga win over Getafe.

The 33-year-old played just seven league games last season as he was rested repeatedly by Carlo Ancelotti, who started the season with a small squad following last summer’s European Championship success.

Real signed Eric Bailly and signed James Rodríguez from Monaco and Mangala in the summer in an attempt to bolster the defence and midfield, although Alonso’s return to his home town will boost Almería.

He took to social media with a photo of him signing his contract and said: “Back in Almería. It’s great to be back here, there are few places that are closer to me than Almería.”

He is set to face his former club in November when Real visit Almería for a La Liga match that could hardly be any more crucial for the team who are now third from bottom of the table on six points.

Albaèno said: “It’s an important event for me, I always dreamed of playing for Almería and back home in Almería. This is where I began my career, where I started to be involved in football at an early age and on this day I am proud to sign for this team again.”

Alvaro Morata praised Alonso on Twitter. “Welcome to your old team brother”, he tweeted. “This is history.”

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