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Alonso hits back at critic who 'will regret' his decision to stay at Leverkusen

"This is my decision. I'm enjoying it now."

Leverkusen coach Xabi Alonso has a stinging rebuke for soccer critics who 'smoked' his decision. In short, 'don't bother with my decisions'. The target was Paul Merson, 56, a former Arsenal legend whose career was cut short by alcoholism.

"Alonso took a jab at Merson for criticizing him for turning down the Liverpool manager's job," the British outlet Team Talk reported on Nov. 21 (ET). Alonso has been one of the most sought-after names in the English Premier League (EPL) in recent years. Alonso, who currently manages Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, was considered the favorite to take over at Liverpool.

After JΓΌrgen Klopp announced in January that he would be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season, transfer market pundits and soccer commentators debated for a while about who would be the next Liverpool manager, and the Reds themselves considered a number of candidates. Alonso, who was leading Leverkusen to an undefeated season, was seen as the most suitable successor to Klopp. At the time, Leverkusen were unbeaten and cruising to the top of the league, eventually toppling Bayern Munich to win the title.

However, Alonso, who had been considered the "No. 1 successor to Klopp" for some time, suddenly decided to stay at Leverkusen. This came after Team Talk exclusively reported in February that Alonso had signed a three-year contract with Liverpool. μΉ΄μ§€λ…Έμ‚¬μ΄νŠΈ In March, Alonso said: "I will stay at Leverkusen and lead them to the Bundesliga title. I have a lot more to do at Leverkusen'.

Football pundit Merson, who was appearing on Sky Sports at the time, was quick to criticize Alonso's decision, saying it was a big shock. "I was very shocked to be honest. "I think in business you have to 'make hay while the sun shines' (paddle while the iron is hot)," he said, "and we're talking about two of the biggest jobs in world football, managing Munich and Liverpool. This opportunity will not come again. I don't think Leverkusen can win the title next season," he said, criticizing Alonso's decision.

Merson added: "I understand that Alonso is happy with his job. He's getting a lot of praise, and rightly so," Merson said, "but I hope he doesn't regret this decision because opportunities like this come along very rarely." In essence, Alonso was suggesting that he made a mistake and would regret his decision to stay at Leverkusen over Liverpool's offer.

However, Alonso hit back at Merson's criticism, telling Spanish outlet AS: "Merson would have made a decision to choose something that I don't value. It's my decision, and everyone has to be responsible for their decisions," he said. He was referring to Merson's alcohol, drug, and gambling addictions during his playing days, and sarcastically asked him to stay out of his decisions.

Alonso added: "I hope my decision to stay is the right one. I'm enjoying the moment and I want to keep improving," he added.

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