Exploring Xabi Alonso's Life Beyond Soccer: His Stylish Wife Peter Crouch Admired, Passion for Classic Cars and Timepieces that Led to 'James Bond' Moniker, and Surprising Fascination with Gaelic Football


After Bayer Leverkusen’s ecstatic celebrations had died down a bit, the hero who masterminded it all found time for family.

Xabi Alonso posted an Instagram snapshot with wife Nagore and their three children Jontxu, Ane and Emma, all smiling in the Leverkusen dressing room.

‘My Team’, he captioned it, with a heart emoji.

On Sunday, a 5-0 home win over Werder Bremen secured Leverkusen their first-ever Bundesliga title and they could yet add the German Cup and the UEFA Europa League.

Xabi Alonso poses with wife Nagore and their three children Jontxu, Ane and Emma after Bayer Leverkusen won an historic Bundesliga title last weekend

Xabi Alonso poses with wife Nagore and their three children Jontxu, Ane and Emma after Bayer Leverkusen won an historic Bundesliga title last weekend

Wife Nagore Aranburu was a teenage sweetheart and the couple married in 2009

Wife Nagore Aranburu was a teenage sweetheart and the couple married in 2009 

Alonso pictured with Juan Mata at an IWC Schaffhausen watch launch in Geneva in 2016

Alonso pictured with Juan Mata at an IWC Schaffhausen watch launch in Geneva in 2016

What’s truly extraordinary is that Alonso’s team have yet to suffer a defeat this season.

His talented and glamorous wife Nagore has worked as a model, an actress and a fashion designer.

The couple were teenage sweethearts who met when Alonso was playing for boyhood club Real Sociedad in his native Basque region.

They married in 2009, just as Alonso moved from Liverpool to Real Madrid. During his time on Merseyside, Nagore worked as a hotel receptionist, which led to a hilarious tale involving team-mate Peter Crouch.

‘On signing for Liverpool I stayed at the Hope Street Hotel,’ Crouch wrote in his 2018 autobiography.

‘On reception was a girl so good-looking I couldn’t quite believe she was smiling at me all the time.

‘I told the lads in training. “Honestly, she’s beautiful. I think I’ve got a shout here.” Jamie Carragher called a few other senior players over. “Tell them again, Crouchie”. So I did.

‘She’s all over me. I’m on fire.’ Carra again, all interest. “What does she look like?” “Amazing. Dark-haired. Spanish-looking. I’m in there.”

‘It turned out she was Xabi Alonso’s partner. She was doing a bit of work to practise her language skills. He was nice about it. So was she. Carra less so…’

Alonso's love of vintage cars is well-known with the Spaniard teaming up with Porsche Design

Alonso’s love of vintage cars is well-known with the Spaniard teaming up with Porsche Design

Peter Crouch mistook Nagore's politeness for affection when he encountered her working as a receptionist at the Hope Street Hotel when he played for Liverpool

Peter Crouch mistook Nagore’s politeness for affection when he encountered her working as a receptionist at the Hope Street Hotel when he played for Liverpool

Nagore has followed Xabi's football career around Europe as both as a player and a coach

Nagore has followed Xabi’s football career around Europe as both as a player and a coach

The latest stop-off is Leverkusen, where Alonso has already written his name into history

The latest stop-off is Leverkusen, where Alonso has already written his name into history

Nagore and their three children have followed Xabi’s career from San Sebastián to Liverpool, Madrid, Munich and then back to the Basque Country when he started his coaching career at Sociedad.

Leverkusen then proved the perfect next step, with Alonso rejecting links to Liverpool and Bayern to stay with the club and coach them in next season’s Champions League.

He first learned English during a visit to Kells in County Meath, Ireland when he was 16.

‘I stayed with the O’Brien family and I remember there were the parents, and two boys and two girls,’ Alonso later recalled.

‘It was very different to go to Ireland from the north of Spain, because of the weather, for instance. The culture is totally different but it was nice to spend a month there.’

Alonso played soccer during his visit but also tried Gaelic football at Kells Celtic. ‘I played with some of the local boys. It was very fast, very tough. Maybe they should wear crash helmets,’ he remembered.

During a school exchange visit to Ireland aged 16, Alonso watched a Meath Gaelic Football match and remains a fan of the team

During a school exchange visit to Ireland aged 16, Alonso watched a Meath Gaelic Football match and remains a fan of the team

Alonso behind the wheel of a classic Porsche in a photoshoot - he was nicknamed James Bond by the media in Spain

Alonso behind the wheel of a classic Porsche in a photoshoot – he was nicknamed James Bond by the media in Spain 

Alonso plays air guitar in the Bayern Munich Christmas Circus Gala in 2015

Alonso plays air guitar in the Bayern Munich Christmas Circus Gala in 2015

Alonso did go to a Meath GAA match, however, and apparently loved the experience, remaining a fan of the team.

As a teenager, Alonso enrolled on an engineering degree in San Sebastián and thought about becoming an economist before he got his big break in Sociedad’s first team.

Renowned for his stylish midfield play – still in evidence on the Leverkusen training pitches – Alonso is equally suave off it.

He even earned the nickname ‘James Bond’ in the Spanish media after a tie-up with Adidas and Porsche Design saw Alonso get behind the wheel of various vintage cars.

Alonso, 42, owns a Mercedes 190 SL convertible worth up to £165,000 though as a player he favoured a less conspicuous Audi.

He doesn’t mind splashing out on nice watches, however, with his collection featuring timepieces by Rolex, Patek Philippe, Franck Muller, Audemars Piguet and Panerai.

His most treasured is an IWC Ingenieur – worth around £10,500 – which was a gift from Nagore on their wedding day.

‘It represents the fact that I found a woman who thought about me, about what I like, and my personality,’ he told The Journal.

‘I don’t wear it much, just on really special occasions.

Xabi and his wife on board a boat during one of their holidays away from football

Xabi and his wife on board a boat during one of their holidays away from football 

Cycling was one way Alonso used to keep fit and active when a player for Bayern Munich

Cycling was one way Alonso used to keep fit and active when a player for Bayern Munich

The football coach tries his hand at surfing in an Instagram picture

The football coach tries his hand at surfing in an Instagram picture 

‘For me, every special moment is bound to be linked to a particular watch, and whenever I put it on I’m transported back to that moment – such as when we won the Champions League with Liverpool [in 2005] or the World Cup with Spain [2010]’.

But a nice watch will be his only accessory. ‘Tattoos are not for me. I just can’t imagine myself with piercings, chains or anything else,’ he told Suddeutsche Zeitung in 2016. ‘Obviously, I’m hopelessly old-fashioned.’

Instagram pictured showing Alonso skiing and surfing do, however, suggest a livelier side to his personality.

At the moment, after Leverkusen finally ended one of sport’s longest curses, there is no hotter property in football.



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