As it stands, Xabi Alonso will not feature in the Champions League final. That’s because he is suspended for the season finale in Lisbon on May 24.
The Spain international midfielder picked up his third booking of Europe’s premier club competition during the second leg of the semi-final tie against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.
With Madrid leading 3-0, the 32-year-old had no need whatsoever in making a clumsy challenge, but he did so nevertheless, lunging in on Bastian Schweinsteiger in the 38th minute of the contest. The referee took out the yellow card and Alonso’s fate was sealed.
Or so it seemed. There is now a chance that Alonso could play against their city-rivals Atletico Madrid. That’s because Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti stated on Saturday that the club will appeal against the ban on the former Real Sociedad player, and that he ‘hopes’ to have it reversed.
However, the Italian tactician does have a back-up option in Asier Illarramendi if UEFA rejects their plea to allow the former Liverpool star to feature in the final.
‘The most obvious replacement is Illarra because he has that ability and habit of playing in that position’, Ancelotti told reporters.
‘The candidate is Illarra, but we’re going to appeal against Xabi Alonso’s card and we hope they will withdraw it’.
Alonso, who joined Madrid from Liverpool back in 2009, has been one of the key players for Ancelotti this season. He has been restricted to 23 La Liga appearances, but his importance in the Champions League is reflected in his eight starts for Los Blancos.
Madrid know how important Alonso will be in the final and they will do their best to get his ban overturned. Whether they succeed in doing so or not, time will tell.