Xabi Alonso has claimed he decided to join Bayern Munich ahead of a Premier League return because he still loves Liverpool and wouldn't play for any other English club.

The Spaniard joined Real Madrid in 2009 for £30m after making 209 appearances for the Reds, during which he scored 18 goals and became a hero for his crucial role in the 2004-2005 Champions League victory.

Alonso has since been a crucial cog in the Real machine and after winning the Champions League last season he has decided to take up a new challenge at Bayern, who have paid around £7m to secure his services.

Manchester United were said to be interested but Alonso claims Bayern were the best choice, as he doesn't want to spoil his memories of Anfield.

"I learnt about Bayern's interest in me a couple of weeks ago and I think it was the best pick for me. I had five great years at Liverpool and I wanted to keep those great memories of the Premier League. Bayern will fight for all the titles. I am looking forward to play for them. They are at the same level as Real Madrid."

"After winning La Decima (the tenth Champions League trophy for Real Madrid) a new cycle is starting. We have taken a great weight off and following this great achievement I needed something else. I feel that for myself, to be at my best, I need a change.

Alonso claims his decision to leave Real Madrid has nothing to do with not being the new signing or facing a reduction in playing time.

" I must be honest with myself, with the club, and this is the right moment. It has nothing to do with not being named in first XI v Cordoba, it was about a feeling I had, that this was the right moment.

"Madrid have made a great signing with Toni Kroos, he is a great player. But the decision is not to do that, it comes from further back, Real Madrid plan well and the club's midfield is well covered [with Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Illarramendi, Sami Khedira and Isco].

"Neither the club, nor the president, nor Jose Angel Sanchez [a club director] nor the boss [Carlo Ancelotti[ wanted me to leave. It was my decision."