Jurgen Klopp: 'To stop Real Madrid, stop Xabi Alonso'

Klopp: 'Alonso more important than Ronaldo'
© PA Photos
Jurgen Klopp claims that Real Madrid cannot play their football if Xabi Alonso is taken out of the game.

Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp believes that the key to defeating Real Madrid is to stop midfielder Xabi Alonso from playing his game.

Klopp masterminded a 2-1 home win for Dortmund against the Spanish champions and then held Jose Mourinho's side to a 2-2 draw in Madrid in the group stage of the Champions League this season.

"We knew where they would send their passes, how they look for Cristiano [Ronaldo]," he told El Pais. "Our plan was to take Xabi [Alonso] out of the game.

"Because if Alonso can play as he wants it is impossible to defend against Madrid. And [Mario] Gotze covered him.

"We knew that if our full-backs, [Lukasz] Piszczek and [Marcel] Schmelzer, moved around a lot, the advantage would be on our side against Cristiano. If you block Xabi, you make it so Pepe always has the ball. That is a big difference."

Madrid will host Manchester United in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger during his side's game with Sunderland on February 9, 2013
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