Liverpool star Naby Keita has named former Reds midfielder Xabi Alonso as the toughest opponent he has ever faced.
Alonso formed one of the greatest midfield partnerships Anfield has ever seen with Javier Mascherano and the man who Keita has inherited the Reds famous number eight jersey from Steven Gerrard during the mid-noughties.
Alonso was part of the Liverpool side that famously won the 2005 Champions League, with the World Cup winning Spain international netting a penalty during the Reds epic comeback victory against AC Milan in Istanbul.
The now retired midfielder then moved on to enjoy a hugely successful spell with Real Madrid, before finishing his career off in Germany where he pulled the strings for Bavarian giants Bayern Munich.
Keita came up against Alonso in the Bundesliga during his time with RB Leipzig and Liverpool’s £52 million summer signing has revealed that playing against the classy Spaniard was about as difficult as it gets.
“When I used to play against Bayern, Xabi Alonso always used to give me a really hard time,” Keita told Liverpool’s website.
“He was so experienced, he made me suffer. The way he’d keep switching play just meant that you could never stop running.
“He was very intelligent.”