Raise a glass to Xabi Alonso on his 100th Champions League appearance [Tweets]

A winner of the competition on two occasions, Xabi Alonso is making his 100th Champions League appearance for Bayern Munich against Shakhtar Donetsk tonight.

The Spanish midfielder first tasted continental glory in 2005 when he was at Liverpool before helping Real Madrid win La Decima last year.

Alonso was suspended for the final against Atletico Madrid but will be able to wash that bitter taste out of his mouth should he lift a third European Cup with Bayern Munich.

With the way he has adapted to the Bundesliga, don’t bet against it.

A master of distribution, Alonso is a level-headed conductor in the centre of the park. A metronome who dictates the rhythm of play. His countryman Pep Guardiola has found him to be an exceptional bargain.

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At the age of 33, his quality hasn’t diminished. In fact, he continues to improve.

Intelligence and speed of thought are what makes Alonso such a special player. Don’t be surprised if he reaches at least 150 appearances, winning the cup again along the way.