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Alonso's Liverpool departure planned for a year

LONDON, September 2- Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso has admitted he planned to quit Liverpool from the moment Anfield boss Rafa Benitez tried to sell him last year.XABI_ALONSOBenitez had wanted to off-load Alonso to Juventus in July 2008 to raise money to sign Gareth Barry from Aston Villa.

Alonso was disappointed to hear that Benitez was willing to let him go and resolved to leave when the right opportunity arose.

That finally happened when he joined Real for 30 million pounds (38 million euros) in August after revealing to Benitez that he wanted to leave the Premier League club.

"It was a very difficult decision for me to make," he told Sky Sports News. "After five years I have experienced wonderful nights at Anfield, to have experienced the support of probably the best fans in the world.

"That’s why I have always been very grateful and I will always have them in my mind and it has been a pleasure.

"Last year the club proposed me that I might have to be sold to find funds for new players.

"It was a difficult decision or difficult moment to accept that. I accepted that as a professional and that moment probably changed my mind and I thought that maybe from that moment that maybe it was time for a change."

Alonso has since admitted that his relationship with Benitez deteriorated when he demanded to leave but the Spanish international reveals that their relationship was always a professional one.

"There has been a lot of rumours but I have always said that it has been simply a professional relationship," he said.

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"I have always tried to do what he asked to do. What he asked of me on the pitch to do the talking on the pitch and that’s that as far as that."

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