Xabi Alonso's departure from Real Madrid was confusing from the beginning. Why would a club leader with an automatic starting spot on the Champions League-winning team up and leave? According to one reporter, the choice was less a vote for Bayern Munich than a chance to save his marriage.
That Mundo Deportivo article relays Spanish journalist Federico Jiménez Losantos's claim that Alonso's wife discovered an affair he was having with Spanish pop singer Russian Red, and gave her husband an ultimatum: leave Madrid or leave the marriage.
Rumors of the Alonso-Red relationship have apparently been percolating in Spain's gossip pages for a while, no doubt buoyed by this song, entitled "Xabier," off of Red's 2014 album Agent Cooper:
At some point the singer was asked about the song, and denied that it was dedicated to the midfielder. Here are the song's lyrics, in case you want to pry them apart for hidden meanings:
For a while your smile was perfect
and in your eyes the truthful sight of a real man
but then again I was missing the service of a young boy who's never loved before, oh
Our walks at night in the city were endless we felt like teenagers filled with passion and hope
We rented cars, found jacuzzis and a nice waitress and were tempted by the cloudy lights and the noisy weddings, oh
I've seen you walk around the block and you do certainly walk like a stranger [x2]
I've seen you walk [x4]
For a while all of our clothes were strangers and picked each day a new and rare costume of love.
Who knows what to make of all this. On one hand, Losantos has a history of being sued for defamation and losing, and this is Mundo Deportivo we're talking about, a pro-Barcelona paper that wouldn't pass up a chance to tweak Madrid with a sordid story like this; on the other, there is the song, and the fact that Xabi Alonso is so suave that he makes Tom Brady look like Peyton Manning. The surprise would be if he wasn't bedding every woman in Spain à la Javier Bardem in Vicky Christina Barcelona. And the simple fact that this rumor getting any kind of play at all shows that Alonso's stated rationale of jumping ship for the sake of "seek[ing] out another challenge" still doesn't really pass the smell test.