SPAIN: AT BREAKING POINT? A political and economic analysis for 2013 IBERIANS OF THE YEAR: The most influential people and groups of 2012

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Xabi Alonso

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The coolest man in La Liga. Alonso was one of the first Spanish players to make an impact in England’s premiership, wowing Liverpool supporters for five seasons before arriving at Real Madrid as part of Florentino Pérez’s neo-galáctico project. Less flashy than the likes of Ronaldo or Özil, the man from Tolosa is nonetheless one of the first names José Mourinho puts on the teamsheet due to his tactical nous and passing range. Not only does Alonso pick up trophies like a kleptomaniac, he also knows how to wear a suit.