Probably Alonso's most scintillating moment. Followed by Baros equally scintillating reaction!
Finally the saga is over although Liverpool is being coy over the exact price which is believed to be close to £30m. The club released a statement.
"Liverpool Football Club this evening confirmed they had reached agreement for the sale of Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid, subject only to a medical. The terms of the deal will remain confidential and undisclosed."
He will join his former Liverpool team-mates Alvaro Arbeloa - who moved to Real last week for £3.5million - and goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek at the Bernabeu.
Alonso became a pawn in the convoluted Gareth Barry courtship and when the Villa midfielder decided to stay on last season only to join City this year, Rafa decided that Alonso was invaluable and rebuffed Real's overtures at first. Florentino Perez was chary of giving more than £30m for Alonso and offered a lesser amount which Liverpool rejected. It was only when Jorge Valdano impressed the owner of Alonso's importance to the Real midfield that Perez finally acquiesced.
I think Liverpool can forget David Villa unless they can come up with more than £50m which is a huge amount of money for a club that has had such a torrid time getting re-financed. Jamie Carragher has been talking up Steven Gerrard as a second striker behind Fernando Torres. Personally, Gerrard is less of a creative force than Alonso, so formalizing a striker role is an important part in his evolution. Alberto Aquilani can take over playmaking duties.