Asier Illarramendi: 'Xabi Alonso made me join Real Madrid'

Spain's Asier Illarramendi in action at the U21 Euro Champs on June 18, 2013
© PA Photos
New Real Madrid signing Asier Illarramendi says that a conversation with Xabi Alonso convinced him to make the switch from Real Sociedad.

New Real Madrid signing Asier Illarramendi has revealed that it was Xabi Alonso who convinced him to join the club.

The 23-year-old moved from Real Sociedad for a reported €39m (£33m) on Friday and told reporters that a chat with Alonso made him sure that he was ready to sign for Los Blancos.

"He is a great player as is everyone that I will play with. Xabi recommended that I come, he told me it was incredible and so it is proving," said Illarramendi.

"He already told me that this was impressive and I am seeing that it is all true. I have the opportunity to now play with him.

"It is clear that Xabi Alonso is a great player, he came through the youth team at La Real and has always been a reference point. I hope to learn a lot from playing with him."

Illarramendi becomes Madrid's second signing of the summer following the arrival of Isco from Malaga earlier on in the transfer window.

Xabi Alonso
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