MADRID (AP) — Xabi Alonso said he is motivated to make a new start with Bayern Munich after the German champion completed its acquisition of the midfielder from Real Madrid on Friday.
Alonso agreed to a two-year contract and will play under fellow Spaniard Pep Guardiola, the former coach of Madrid's fierce rival, Barcelona.
Alonso said he felt his time had ended at Madrid after he helped it win its 10th European Cup last May, the long-awaited "Decima."
"After winning the 'Decima' last season I felt that a new cycle would begin for the club, and for myself," said Alonso. "I had the need to begin a new chapter and start fresh. I needed new motivations after we won the 'Decima' to be able to play at my full potential."
Bayern had said on Thursday it was close to inking the deal for Alonso. He will help fill the void left by the injury to Javi Martinez.
Neither club released financial details of the transfer. Media reports place it in the 10-million euro ($13-million) range.
The 32-year-old midfielder, known for his passing and tactical know-how, also helped Madrid win the Copa del Rey last season and in 2011 and the Spanish league in 2012.
Alonso retired this summer from international competition after helping Spain win the 2010 World Cup and the European championship in 2008 and 2012.
Madrid signed Toni Kroos from Bayern this summer, along with Colombia's James Rodriguez, increasing competition for playing time in its midfield.
Alonso is the second important player to leave the European champions this week after Angel Di Maria signed with Manchester United.