Xabi Alonso, the man who is better than all of us, retires from football on Saturday after an illustrious career in the game.
The former Real Madrid and Liverpool star will hang up his boots as Bayern Munich face Freiburg this weekend, and the 35-year-old has been using the week leading up to the game looking back on his career like an old Prime Minister looks back on his time in charge of the country.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Times, Alonso spoke about the state of English football, what he thinks Gareth Southgate must do to excel as Three Lions boss, and what he’ll be doing when he finally has some time on his hands – riding his vintage BMW R100 is one of his plans. Of course it is.
But the ex-Liverpool man also gave his opinion on who his favourite young English player is, and the answer will excite a lot of Spurs fans.
Alonso revealed the young English player that excites him most is Eric Dier.
As Matt Dickinson mentions in his piece with Alonso, it’s perhaps unsurprising Alonso picked a ball-playing composed, versatile central midfielder who learnt his trade playing in Portugal rather than England.
Dier has been employed as both a centre back and central defensive midfielder by Mauricio Pochettino this season, missing just two games in the Premier League campaign, playing virtually every minute.
He has scored two goals, and has made the place in the Spurs team his own following a Euro 2016 campaign that saw him score a magnificent free-kick in England’s opener against Russia in Marseille.