zorionak Xabi!

Tolosa honored probably their most popular native son, and world champion, Xabi Alonso, yesterday with a series of acts.  In the morning, Xabi received an honor guard from local youth footballers at the entrance to the city hall.  Inside, family, friends and former teammates, as well as Javier Clemente, Luis Uranga and Juan Luis Larrea, were waiting for him.  The man of the hour described the act as very emotional, because it was a tribute from his town and from people he is close to.

He received a commemorative txapela (the traditional Basque beret) as part of the tribute.  Xabi’s parents were on hand, as well as wife Nagore, and little Ane!!!  Xabi and his mother look so much alike, no?

They also showed a video in which former and current teammates – including Iker Casillas and Artiz Aduriz – family – his parents, Mikel, Nagore, Jontxu and a dressed-up Ane among them – and other important people in his life appeared.  Iker told Xabi to enjoy the time with his family and friends, and that he missed him in Madrid, and would see him soon, while Mikel jokingly remembered his younger brother as a “freckled and bad-tempered” kid, who as a child “was fat.  He had boobs and a beer belly, and I think we even called him Sabrina.  He was a good companion for mischief, a specialist in making mischief and getting away with it.”  Meanwhile, Isabel, Xabi’s ama, described her son in his younger days as “charming and with a lot of female friends.”   Isabel and Periko coincided that “he always had his own ideas, and when he wants something, he goes for it.  He physically resembles his mother, but his personality is the same as his father’s.”   And a friend explained, “his nose is how it is because he had an accident with a slide.  He was competing and fell on his face, so it was his desire to win that did that.”  The mayor of Tolosa had this to say:  “he’s among the stars, but he looks at them from the ground.  He’s a role model for children.”  Xabi described the video as “an unexpected surprise, very emotional and very, very special.”

Later on, in the Usabal sports center, Xabi unveiled a commemorative plaque with his name on it, as well as that of Edurne Pasaban, the mountaineer who is also from Tolosa, and posed next to a huge photo of him as a kid.  The best part was when his former teammates – including brother Mikel – all showed to recreate the photo.  Xabi was an adorable kid.  But I think he should have posed like his nine-year-old self!

There was also a performance of traditional Basque dance for Xabi.  The day ended when Xabi took the saque de honor at the Shanti tournament, which he participated in when he was a kid (that’s where the photo of him as a kid is from).

In January, Xabi will receive San Sebastián’s golden drum award, the highest honor that the city gives out, in recognition of his contribution to making Donosti look good [he does that so well, no?].

Watch a video here of the best moments, including Xabi speaking Basque, and Mikel talking like Sergio Ramos (ending just about every other one of his sentences with a ¿no?).

Bonus for my Madrid blog readers:  Xabi Alonso, front and back.™  He gets some posing in there too.

I think Xabi should be a diplomat when he retires, because everyone loves him.


Posted on December 27, 2010, in players and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Is little Ane giving someone the side-eye?!

  2. Thank you for this, Una. I saw a lot of coverage on this yesterday, but I didn’t understand most of it. Young Xabi was “charming and with a lot of female friends”? I don’t doubt that for a second! Xabi is a great athlete and a wonderful role model; I’m glad to see him getting the tributes he deserves.

  3. Wow, wow, wow! What a Xabilicious post. Actually, I don’t have much to say. I’m still too flashed now.. jejeje
    And Xabi really looks like his mom! They have the same (beautiful) profile. Talking about people with nice – no, let’s say gorgeous – profiles: Iker is so addicted to scarfs these days. I hope he’s not ill! This one is still much nicer than the other ones he usually wears.
    Thank you so much for the bonus Front and Back! Sigh… I love how everyone’s trying to touch him (thank God I wasn’t attending because I would probably ahve jumped at poor Xabi).

    Btw, what does “zorionak” mean?

  4. A perfect post! What a fantastic man he is, no? Boss!!!

    I love little Ane in her Basque traditional dress!! Adorable :D

    And I love love love your touches of RM ICYMI moments here too!!!

    BTW do you know if there is a full video of the tribute video to him anywhere?

  5. How awesome is it that they did this for Xabi! Not just the city of Tolosa, but all his former teammates, and I can imagine that Xabi was very moved when he watched that video! :)

  6. Not just Donostia – he makes EVERYTHING look good. *nod* (Yes, even the pancake hat and the broomstick… although they are pushing it! ;-) )

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