Alonso: Gerrard was magic

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Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso has described former Liverpool team-mate Steven Gerrard as an inspiration following the Anfield captain's Premier League farewell.

Gerrard brought the curtain down on his Liverpool career with a 6-1 defeat at Stoke City on Sunday and will soon depart for the United States to join up with MLS champions LA Galaxy.

Alonso was present for many of Gerrard's finest hours, including winning the UEFA Champions League in 2005 and the FA Cup the following year, and has hailed the role played by the hometown hero.

"It was so inspirational," he is quoted as saying on Liverpool's official website. "When Stevie was on your side you knew that he could have those magic moments that we enjoyed.

"I remember the goal against Olympiacos [2004-05 Champions League group stage] or the FA Cup final goal against West Ham that came out of nothing.

"I remember in the last years, the connection that he had with Fernando Torres was vital for us.

"For me, he's been one of the players that I most enjoyed playing alongside."