Xabi Alonso announced his retirement from all forms of football earlier this year, putting an end to a legendary career that has seen him play for three of Europe's biggest clubs. Even towards the end of his career, the Spaniard remained a classy figure capable of producing moments of magic.
Here are five of the best moments of his career.
5. Breaking Chelsea's unbeaten home run
Chelsea's time under Luiz Felipe Scolari isn't fondly remembered by many, and this is another reason why. At the time, Chelsea were in the midst of an enviable 86-game undefeated streak at Stamford Bridge when Liverpool came to visit them.
Xabi Alonso scored the only goal of the game with a deflected shot, bringing their undefeated streak to an end. Whilst it wasn't the best goal of his career by any stretch of the imagination - we'll get to that later - it's place in history guarantees it a place on this list.
4. Double vs. France at Euro 2012
Xabi Alonso was a key part of the Spanish side that dominated world football from 2008-12, winning two European Championships and a World Cup in the process. And while he regularly featured for his national side in all those tournaments, no performance was better than this one.
In the quarterfinal game against France no less he scored a brace, first with a fine header and then with a late penalty kick to seal the deal. To make matters better, the performance came on the same day he earned his 100th cap for Spain.
3. Breaking Bundesliga touches record
Xabi Alonso was in the twilight of his career when he joined Bayern Munich in 2014. Despite that, he proved that class is permanent and was even declared undroppable by Pep Guardiola. His performance against FC Koln proved just why Pep felt the way he did.
Xabi put in a commanding midfield performance, completing 206 touches of the ball. His performance shattered the previous record of most touches in a game, held by Thiago Alcantara with 177. That wasn't all: the game saw him complete 196 successful passes. That's more than Koln's whole team managed in the game.
2. Dominating Barca's midfield in Clasico
Xabi Alonso's time at Real Madrid saw him be a part of the side that finally broke Barcelona's stranglehold over La Liga. Playing in a deeper role under Jose Mourinho, the Spaniard's passing ability and defensive nous was instrumental to the style of play then manager Jose Mourinho wanted to implement.
Never was this more evident during the 2011/12 season's second El Clasico in the league. He put in an absolutely dominating performance in the middle of the park, stifling Barcelona's midfield as Real beat their arch-rivals at the Camp Nou and all but assured themselves the title.
1. Beating Steve Harper from 65 yards out
Xabi Alonso is the type of player that is hard to sum up in moments. His presence on a game is so over-reaching that he has been a key cog of every side he's ever played for. He can launch attacks, break up attacks, defend hard and even score a few goals.
But if ever there was a moment that defined his class, it would have to be his screamer against Newcastle United. Picking up the ball in his own half and spotting the goalkeeper off his line, Alonso launched a shot from 65 yards out, forever etching himself in Premier League history.