Xabi Alonso has confirmed his retirement from football with a cryptic post on social media.
The 35-year-old has featured 27 times for Bayern Munich this season, including playing all 180 minutes in their 10-2 aggregate Champions League last-16 triumph over Arsenal.
There had been reports that the Spaniard was set to hang up his boots at the end of this campaign, and a Twitter post in which he says "farewell" to football appeared to add to the speculation as Bayern later made it clear that he would be retiring at the end of the season.
Club chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in a statement: "Bayern would like to thank a great player and a man who has played the Bayern way on and off the pitch excellently.
"Xabi Alonso is one of the greats of world football. He has won everything in his career. He is also an outstanding personality, a gentleman of football."
Alonso has played for Real Sociedad, Liverpool and Real Madrid as well as Bayern, and was part of the glittering Spain team that won three major tournaments in a row between 2008 and 2012.topics from