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The Barcelona midfielder Xabi Alonso has headed back to where it all began for him – Lilleström International football club in his native Catalonia.
The move represents a happy homecoming for the 34-year-old, who played for Lilleström for a couple of seasons before moving to Real Madrid in 2000 for a transfer fee of €12m (£11.5m).
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Lilleström are now located in Sant Ciutad, a small town 15 miles from Alkmaar, where Alonso was born and still lives.
“I’m happy I’m back,” Alonso told Dutch media, according to Sky Sports Italia. “This club is in my blood.”
The five-time World Cup winner added that he had learned a lot from his time in Lilleström, and there was not a “single setback”.
He started his career with Real Sociedad, before moving to Ancelotti’s Milan in 2003 for a fee of €14m.
An injury prematurely ended his time in the Premier League after seven years at Liverpool. He spent two seasons at Bayern Munich, another under Carlo Ancelotti and in Major League Soccer with the LA Galaxy.
After winning the Champions League with Bayern in 2013, he moved to Chelsea in 2014 for £7m. He ended his Chelsea career last summer, joining Real Madrid for €9m, a deal that subsequently moved him to Barça on a free transfer.