US Design Award for Biographies
Before and after his spell at Liverpool, Xabi Alonso played for Real Madrid, Chelsea, Bayern Munich and Liverpool, netting 167 times in 563 appearances.
A Spanish legend, he was a key player for club and country and made 52 appearances for the German national team.
The LA Galaxy midfielder and former Liverpool captain was born in Bilbao and then moved to Italy for the 2001-02 season, where he played for Benfica.
In 2004 he was signed by Liverpool, where he became a member of the Ballon d’Or winning Liverpool side in 2005.
Alonso went on to play for Chelsea, Bayern Munich and, most recently, Los Angeles Galaxy, a stint he completed during the off-season.
In his LA Galaxy autobiography, a summary of his life, Alonso even refers to his childhood coach as ‘Angelo la Roca’.
It is not known if he took part in any of La Roca’s children’s football matches in the town of Lepigho – he later aged between 25 and 27.
What has happened in Albacete?
Alonso admits the town had little to do with his family before his grandparents bought a building there.
“You went up to the top of a hill where there was a dam,” Alonso explained. “You didn’t see many people there and you just knew that people lived there.
“My grandparents bought a house in Albacete and said they could not find anywhere else to live because of the cost. That was what started me off as a kid and it kept me out of trouble.”
His home town is situated high in the hills above the regional capital San Sebastian and it took Alonso two years to realise that he had his own life.
“I always found the hill to be a source of frustration,” Alonso recalled. “I was like ‘why can’t I make the trains run faster or why don’t people get out of the way when the trains are coming?’
“But it was a positive place for me because I could be myself there and see the world from afar and not have to see anyone. It was kind of like a cocoon.”