Bayern Munich star and former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Spain hero Xabi Alonso has officially confirmed his intention to retire at the end of the season.

It was rumoured by the German media in January that the veteran midfielder would choose to hang up his boots and bring an illustrious career to a close this summer, with Alonso and Bayern now finally making the long expected announcement.

In a short but powerful tweet, Alonso said, "Lived it. Loved it. Farewell beautiful game."

The 35-year-old World Cup and double European championship winner joined Bayern, somewhat surprisingly, in 2014 after an undisclosed fee was agreed with Real Madrid.

He has won back-to-back Bundesliga title in Munich and is on course for a third come the end of 2016/17. He also enjoyed DFB Pokal success last season to add to the two Copa del Rey triumphs from his time in Madrid.

Alonso was a La Liga winner with Real in 2011/12 and was famously a part of the club's historic Decima in 2014 after beating city rivals Atletico in the Champions League final - his final game for Los Blancos. Previously, he had taken a starring role in Liveprool's 2005 Champions League win.

Alonso called time on his international career back in 2014 after 114 caps for Spain. He was a regular in the side from his debut in 2003, through to Euro 2008 glory to end the country's lengthy trophy drought, as well the World Cup in 2010 and Euro 2012.

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