Xabi Alonso has replaced Gerardo Seoane as Bayer Leverkusen’s head coach.
Former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich midfielder Alonso coached Real Sociedad B between June 2019 and May 2022, having previously worked in Los Blancos’s youth system.
The 40-year-old has now been handed his first head coach role at the top level on a two-year deal, with Leverkusen opting to part ways with Seaone after a dismal start to the season has left them sitting 17th in the Bundesliga.
“Gerardo Seoane has done a good job for Bayer 04 over the past year and a half, above all by qualifying for the Champions League,” said sporting director Simon Rolfes.
“Unfortunately, we have strayed from the road to success. From our point of view, the early elimination from the DFB-Pokal, but especially the fact that the current position in the Bundesliga is far below our expectations, made the change of coach imperative.
“In Xabi Alonso, we have signed a coach who, as a player, was an absolute world-class professional for many years, an intelligent strategist and extremely successful in three of the most demanding European leagues.”
Alonso, who helped Spain win the 2010 World Cup, made 79 Bundesliga appearances for Bayern between 2014 and his 2017 retirement, winning three successive league titles under Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti.
“I know Leverkusen from my time in Germany as an excellent club,” Alonso told his new team’s official website.
“Bayer 04 have always had great players, and I see a lot of quality in the current squad too.
“During discussions with the club, it quickly became clear that, despite the current difficult situation, ambitious goals are still being pursued in principle. I am very excited about this task and I am sure that we will live up to this claim.”
Seaone’s final game in charge was a 2-0 Champions League loss at Porto on Tuesday, Leverkusen’s fourth defeat in their last five away games in the competition.