Back to where it all began for Bayern’s Alonso on Matchday 2

Matchday 2's opening fixture between FC Schalke 04 and FC Bayern München will conjure up fond memories for Spanish string-puller Xabi Alonso.

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The Bayern midfielder made his Bundesliga debut at the VELTINS ARENA back in August 2014, and has served as the fulcrum of the side ever since.

Alonso has an Official Fantasy Bundesliga value of 13.1m. Click here to select him for your side!

Now 34, he could be forgiven for wanting to ease off, but his appetite for domestic and European success remains as voracious as ever.

"I want to win the Bundesliga again," Alonso is quoted as saying in Ring of Fire: Liverpool FC into the 21st Century – The Players' Stories by Simon Hughes.  "I want to win the cup. I want to win the Champions League for a third different club. I want to win everything there is to win. And maybe then I will stop."

Watch: Xabi Alonso scores an early contender for goal of the season against SV Werder Bremen on Matchday 1:

Note the Tolosa native's use of the modal verb. Why should he even consider hanging up his boots when he still has the ability, engine and hunger to deliver results at the highest level? Few can claim to tick all three of the aforementioned boxes approaching 35 years of age, but Alonso is no ordinary player.

In 2002/03, he led boyhood club Real Sociedad de Futbol to within two points of a first La Liga title in 21 years. He brought the glory days back to Liverpool FC, winning the UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FA Cup and FA Community Shield. He repeated the trick at Real Madrid CF, and retired from the international scene as a FIFA World Cup and two-time UEFA EURO champion with Spain.

The title-winning trend has only continued at Bayern, with two successive Bundesliga triumphs, the 2015/16 DFB Cup and 2016 Supercup the most recent entries on an exhaustive, but unfinished CV.

After experiencing two successive seasons of semi-final heartache, it remains to be seen how many more bites of European club football’s prized cherry Alonso will receive in a Bayern shirt: he turns 35 in November and his existing deal with the record Bundesliga champions is due to expire at the end of the 2016/17 campaign.

However, as the oldest goalscorer on Bundesliga Matchday 1 at 34 years, nine months and one day, Alonso is living proof that age is just a number. A model professional with a drive like no other, the irreplaceable Bayern synergist’s work is far from over - not by a long shot.

Christopher Mayer-Lodge