Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso on Saturday set a new Bundesliga record after taking an astonishing 204 touches of the ball during the German champ’s 2-0 win at Cologne. Alonso touched the ball every 30 seconds, on average, surpassing teammate and fellow Spaniard Thiago Alcantara, who held the previous record after 177 touches against Eintracht Frankfurt last season.
The statistic, which was introduced in the Bundesliga in 1999, is dominated by Bayern, which holds the first five ranks, according to Bild. "200 ball contacts. I need a whole season for that," Bayern forward Thomas Muller told Bild.
Meanwhile, Franz Beckenbauer, the club’s honorary president, called the former Spain international the most important Bayern signing of the season. "Against a team which is parking the bus like Cologne, you, of course, collect a lot of ball contacts,” the former German World Cup winner said. “But I have been saying it for weeks: Alonso is our most important signing," he said. "His record is no surprise. He is an intelligent player, and is a master of what Dettmar Cramer [Bayern coach from 1975 to 1977] told us to do 100 years ago: play, walk, play, walk, play, walk. And that's how he pushes Bayern up the field meter by meter."