MADRID - Xabi Alonso expects to slot straight into the role of 'conductor' at Real Madrid after completing his desired move from Liverpool on Wednesday. The Spanish midfielder passed a medical and signed a five-year contract with Real before training for the first time with his new colleagues in the afternoon. He was later presented at a news conference, where he predicted no great change from the role he excelled at during his five years as a Liverpool player. "I am going to try and do what I have always done in the centre of midfield, to try and set up my colleagues, and to conduct the play... that's what I know how to do," Alonso said. "I took the decision to leave a while ago. The chance to join Real Madrid came up and what an opportunity, and what better team could I join?" He could now join the club's tour to North America which leaves on Thursday. Earlier Real Madrid director general Jorge Valdano spoke to radio station Cadena Ser, and said Alonso's signing was their last acquisition of the close season. "We understood Xabi Alonso was an important player to complete our squad, and it was worth Real Madrid fighting for him," Valdano said. "The club needed a shake up. Some very good players have come in to strengthen every position and the fans are very excited. "With this move we end the search for new players. We continue searching for an exit for those who are surplus to requirements." Having spent around 250 million euros to lure eight players including Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Karim Benzema to the Bernabeu, Real have until the end of August to cut Manuel Pellegrini's squad back to 25 players. Midfielder Rafael van der Vaart and forwards Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Alvaro Negredo have been linked with interest from clubs in Germany, Italy and England.
5 August 2009
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