Cape Town - Xabi Alonso has revealed that he chose a move to Bayern Munich to give his career a fresh start after five years at Real Madrid.
The former Spain international enjoyed a fruitful spell at the Santiago Bernabeu, winning one league title, the UEFA Champions League and two Copa del Rey trophies.
However, the 34-year-old surprisingly completed a transfer to the Bundesliga in the off-season, signing a two-year deal with the reigning German champions.
And Alonso has proven to be a revelation under Bayern manager Pep Guardiola and says joining the Bavarians was a chance he could not turn down.
"It was not a simple decision," he told TZ.
"It is never easy to leave Madrid because they are a top club, but I felt it was the right time.
"I had the opportunity to go to another top club in another league. Maybe it was the last chance to live a new experience.
"I wanted a fresh start in a new city. I felt it was best for my career. I've fitted into the team well and have a good relationship with the coach.
"I talk to him a lot because I know what he wants from me, so it's been easy to come into a winning club like Bayern.
"I was surprised to be so important from the start because I barely knew the team, but football is a universal language."