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Xabi Alonso said choosing to leave Real Madrid for Bayern Munich was the toughest decision of his life.
The former Spain midfielder, who announced his international retirement earlier this week, has also now called time on his five years at the Bernabeu to join German giants Bayern in a transfer reportedly worth 10 million euros (£8million).
"It's been five great years. Now a new cycle is starting and it's been the most difficult decision of my life. I've thought long and hard about it.
"I wanted to be honest with myself and Real Madrid. You need to know when to say goodbye and this was the best time.
"I will always be part of the Madrid family."
Xabi Alonso is poised to complete his move to Bayern Munich after Real Madrid confirmed on Friday an agreement had been struck between the two clubs for the former Spain international.
Bayern's financial director Jan-Christian Dreesen revealed on Thursday that an agreement for the 32-year-old midfielder had been struck ''in principle", with the 2010 World Cup winner due in Munich later in the day for a medical and to discuss terms.