Cape Town - Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso will retire at the end of the current season, the German giants confirmed on Wednesday.
The former Spain international, 35, was rumoured to be planning on calling an end to his illustrious playing career and posted a message on Twitter reading: 'Lived it. Loved it. Farewell beautiful game.'
Shortly afterward, Bayern confirmed Alonso was set to retire with the Spaniard telling Bayern TV: 'It wasn't an easy decision to make, but I believe it's the right time. I always thought it would be better to quit sooner rather than later. I still feel good, but I believe this is the right moment.
'I wanted to end my career still at the highest level, and Bayern is the highest level. I'm incredibly proud and happy to play for FC Bayern and to be a part of this family.'
Alonso has won 12 major trophies throughout his career, including one World Cup, two European Championships and two Champions League medals and will go down as one of the greats.