One of the best midfielders of his generation, Xabi Alonso, is calling time on his prestigious career at season’s end.

The 35-year-old Bayern Munich star announced via social media his decision to retire when his contract expires this summer. The message kept it simple and classy, representative of the style he has played with throughout his 18 years as a professional.

He also spoke to Bayern TV about his decision, insisting now was the perfect time to say goodbye.

“It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I believe it’s the right time. I always thought it would be better to quit sooner rather than later. I still feel good, but I believe this is the right moment.” – Xabi Alonso  

Born in the Basque region, Alonso first made his name at Real Sociedad where helped them to mount a surprise La Liga title challenge in the 2002/03 season (finished two points behind champions, Real Madrid) before helping them reach the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League the following season. He then moved to Anfield in 2004, where he became a Liverpool legend, winning a memorable UEFA Champions League crown in his first season as well as an FA Cup and UEFA Super Cup. Xabi then went on to Real Madrid, where he won the 2011/12 La Liga title and 2013/14 Champions League, before ending up at Bayern, where he has won two Bundesliga titles and is well on his way to a third.

At international level, he was equally as decorated, recording 114 caps for Spain, winning two European championships and the country’s first World Cup at South Africa 2010.