Some say great players don’t make great coaches – Alonso can prove them wrong | Philipp Lahm

My former teammate has the intellect and charisma to infuse his on-pitch knowledge into those he coaches at LeverkusenI loved being on the pitch with footballers. My former coaches Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola, Jupp Heynckes and Felix Magath were world champions or European Cup winners as players. As practitioners, they know what makes a dressing room tick. They recognise with which players triumphs are possible. They use the natural hierarchy of a team. Footballers can smell it when their coaches lack this instinct.I could have imagined Xabi Alonso as my coach. He knows football inside out. He played for Bayern for three years, and in 2017 we finished our careers together, again with the Bundesliga trophy in our hands. That he is now the coach at Bayer Leverkusen does not surprise me. He was working towards that during the last years of his active time.

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