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Although tonight he will have to settle for watching the final from the boxes assigned to Real Madrid, as well as promising not to invade the pitch to celebrate any of his team's goals, the Welsh capital holds some wonderful memories for Xabi Alonso.
Xabi Alonso lifts second trophy in Cardiff City Stadium
08/12/2014
 
Jul 29, 2014; Dallas, TX, USA; Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso (14) before the game against AS Roma at Cotton Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Although tonight he will have to settle for watching the final from the boxes assigned to Real Madrid, as well as promising not to invade the pitch to celebrate any of his team's goals, the Welsh capital holds some wonderful memories for Xabi Alonso.


He was part of the Liverpool team which beat West Ham on 13th May 2006 in Cardiff to win the FA Cup, albeit at a different venue to the one which hosts this evening's game, the Cardiff City Stadium. Back then it was the Millennium, Wales's national stadium where the Welsh team plays rugby, the country's national sport.

It was during the era when the new Wembley stadium was under construction and the cup finals were played at the Millennium - six of them in total.


There were doubts surrounding Xabi Alonso's participation right up until the last minute, but Rafa Benítez ended up including him in the starting XI. He had sustained an injury in the previous game against Portsmouth and was only just getting back to full fitness. In fact, he was substituted on 67 minutes. He had nothing left in the tank.


Liverpool won the cup on penalties after the match finished level with three goals apiece. Gerrard scored the equalizer in injury time, before the now-Bayern player, Pepe Reina, stepped up and quite literally saved the day. He stopped three penalties. And Xabi Alonso was crowned a champion in Cardiff.


Source: MARCA
 
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