Xabier "Xabi" Alonso Olano is a Spanish footballer who plays central midfield for Real Madrid. He is renowned worldwide for his ball passing ability. Coming from a football oriented family, it didn't take him too long to fit in and prove himself. Alonso came up through the ranks and the reserve team at Real Sociedad and impressed enough to earn a first team debut at the age of 18. Under the guidance of John Toshack, Alonso's captaincy proved to be a resurgence of form for Real Sociedad. The 2002–03 season was the club's best league performance since the 1981–82 season, in which they won the league. Alonso significantly contributed to the team's goal tally, scoring 12 goals in all competitions, and was given the Best Spanish Player award by Spanish sports magazine Don Balón. Alonso's arrival at Liverpool marked the beginning of a new era at Anfield. Alonso contributed important goals for the club and revived a deflated Liverpool, bringing it back to its former glory. It was in the August of 2009 that Alonso made the iconic move to Real Madrid at the price of £30,000,000. On 21 September 2011, he played his 100th official game for Real Madrid. Alonso continued to be an undisputed force in the starting eleven and ultimately claimed the first league title of his career.