Marc Roca says that former Bayern Munich and Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso is one of his greatest idols. - © imago images
Marc Roca says that former Bayern Munich and Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso is one of his greatest idols. - © imago images

Bayern Munich's Marc Roca: "Xabi Alonso is one of my great idols"


Bayern Munich's latest Spanish import Marc Roca says he has long admired his new club and especially one of their former players, who he is hoping to emulate at the Allianz Arena.

After signing a five-year deal with the treble winners on transfer deadline day, joining from Spanish side Espanyol, 23-year-old Roca was officially unveiled on Tuesday.

In moving to Munich, Roca has joined an illustrious list of Spanish players who will have donned the red of Bayern - including the likes of Thiago, Javi Martinez and Xabi Alonso - and the defensive-minded midfielder has long been an admirer of the latter in particular.

"I have a lot of favourite players, but Xabi Alonso is one of my great idols," Roca said at his press conference. "I've always admired his style of play. I want to grow as a football player and take advantage of the opportunity that Bayern offers me. I'm very happy to be here with all of these great players. I hope I can get the best out of it."

The Spaniard certainly has growing to do but will look to take from the legacies which Alonso, Thiago and Martinez have since built at the club for his own future - a future he was thinking about since watching his new employers demolish Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

"I was happy that Bayern won 8-2," Roca said. "It was impressive how Bayern rolled over Barca."

Watch: Alonso's stunning opening day strike vs. Bremen!

Roca has been training with fellow new signings Douglas Costa, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Bouna Sarr and Tiago Dantas during the international break. All four of the first-team signings - minus 19-year-old Dantas - could make their debuts for Bayern in the club's DFB Cup first round tie against FC Düren, to be played on Thursday, which Roca can't wait for.

"I want to play," Roca said when asked about the game. "It doesn't matter if it's a fifth division team, we have to do our best."

The Spain U21 international could also make his Bundesliga debut for the defending league champions this coming Saturday when they travel to face promoted Arminia Bielefeld.