As ex-Liverpool legend Xabi Alonso announced his retirement from football on Thursday, we’ve selected our top five moments from him in a Liverpool shirt as a tribute to the Spaniard.

Alonso was signed by then-Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez in August 2004, where he made an immediate impression with his passing attributes as well as his aptitude to read the game.

He seamlessly fitted in a midfield which complemented the likes of Steven Gerrard, Dietmar Hamann, Dirk Kuyt, Ryan Babel and Javier Mascherano. Alonso endeared himself with the fans even after his departure to Real Madrid in August 2009.

Rafael Benitez erased his genius from five years ago when he let Alonso’s services be deprived of the club in exchange for Gareth Barry, of all people. Since then, Barry never did make it to Anfield and the side have lacked a midfield spine that has been able to compete in Europe & in the league consistently.

Since his spell at the Reds, he has enjoyed hugely successful careers at Real Madrid & Bayern Munich which have yielded plenty of trophies.

Ben Radford/Getty Images Sport Start slideshow