A couple hours after Real Madrid made official Xabi Alonso's signing for Bayern Munich, it was time to give Xabi the farewell he deserves. Emilio Butragueño spoke first to express Real Madrid's gratitude to the red beard:
Xabi has decided to start a new chapter in his career and we respect his decision. This is his house, and we will never forget all the good he has done to Real Madrid.
Later on, it was Xabi's turn to offer a farewell speech:
I wish to thank Emilio for his emotive words. It is sad and tough to say good-bye, after five years here in which we have made so much. Leaving Real Madrid is a difficult decision, probably the hardest in my career, but I have really thought about it and I think it's for the best. I can only express my gratitude to the president and José Ángel Sánchez, all my coaches and partners here, the club employees and the fans. I leave the club today, but I will always be a madridista.
Xabi answered a few questions posed by the reporters at Valdebebas. These were his most significant statements:
After having won La Décima, I felt a new cycle starts at Real Madrid and perhaps also in my career. I wanted to be honest to the club, so I told them that I wanted to leave the team. Real Madrid never wanted me to go away, it was my request and they respected and accepted it.
I do not think I would not have been important in the club this season. The coach trusted in me, and I am sure I would have played a lot. Nevertheless, Real Madrid managing staff are great and the roster is still well balanced, probably better than last season.
I learnt about Bayern's interest on me a couple weeks ago and I think it was the best pick for me. My time in Liverpool was great and I don't want to change my memories about the Premier League right now.
Illarramendi needs time, but I am sure he will be a great asset for Real Madrid. Last year was very important for him, since he could learn a lot of things about the city and Real Madrid. He is more mature now and I fully trust in his possibilities.