Berlin: Xabi Alonso's Bayern Munich career has barely begun, but Julius Caesar's "veni, vidi, vici" (I came, I saw, I conquered) applies equally well to the Spaniard's arrival in Germany, as he has become the Bavarians' on-field leader after only two games.
Alonso did not have much time to adapt to his new team. He played his first game with the German champions on the day he was presented, having trained just once with Bayern, reports Efe.
Alonso's transfer from Real Madrid raised questions, notably from retired Bayern great and World Cup winner Lothar Matthaus, who said he would have preferred to see the German club acquire Xabi's Blancos teammate Sami Khedira. (Champions League: Bayern Munich Host Familiar Foes Manchester City)
The initial skepticism completely vanished once comparisons started being drawn between the Spaniard and another Bayern legend, Franz Beckenbauer.
In his Bayern debut, a 1-1 draw with Schalke, Alonso proved his immense leadership skills. Against Stuttgart, he showed even more intensity, which led him to become an instant fan favourite in Munich.
"Great players do not need to adapt, they come in and play," Beckenbauer, known in Germany as "Der Kaiser," said of Alonso after the Schalke game.
More praise came after the Stuttgart match, as 'Die Welt' newspaper said that Alonso reminded Bayern fans of Beckenbauer.
"He's like a magnet, attracting everything; he is the helmsman, the conductor, and the player of set pieces," the daily Abendzeitung said of Alonso's performance.
Xabi had 150 touches against Stuttgart, assisting on a goal by Mario Götze and nearly scoring himself on a free kick that hit the post.
Alonso's scant acquaintance with the German language did not stop him from giving instructions to the other players. But he tried to play down the praise coming his way, saying that he's only fulfilling his role.
Coach Pep Guardiola warned that Alonso might wear himself out, saying: "Any player who runs the field back and forth like this will be dead within a month."
Alonso's arrival in Munich comes amid the absence of Bayern's usual on-field leader, new German national captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is injured.
Once Schweinsteiger recovers, Bayern's midfield could become even more powerful if the Spanish-German duo gets to play together.