The latest edition of Chelsea is out now and features an exclusive interview with Marcos Alonso, who discusses his family's football dynasty...
The latest edition of Chelsea, available in print and digital format, is out now and features an exclusive interview with Marcos Alonso, who discusses his family's football dynasty and reflects on a fine first season playing for the Blues.
The 26-year-old's father and grandfather were both Spain internationals and Alonso's earliest memories of football came when he watched his dad during his management days at Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Malaga.
'I used to love to go and train with the players when I was a little kid,' he tells Chelsea in the interview. 'It wasn’t very often because I used to go to school every day, but I will always remember the few days when I went to train with the big teams because I really enjoyed that time. It was a great experience.'
Alonso's grandfather is regarded as a legend at Real Madrid, having played right-back for the side which won five European Cups and five titles between 1954 and 1962. When Alonso joined Real's ranks himself as a youngster, he became truly aware of his family's legacy.
'At that time my grandad was still alive,’ he recalls. 'He came to two or three games in my first year and everyone wanted a picture with him instead of watching us play! I used to feel very proud of that, of my grandfather being so popular there and so loved by the people.'
Discussing any tips his family members gave him, he says: 'My father and my grandfather didn’t really give me too much advice, but with the example they gave me, and from spending all my life hearing talk about football, I think it’s been helpful to have them both.'
Bringing things up to the present day, Alonso explains that, while this season has been a thrilling one as the Blues continue to set the pace at the top of the Premier League, it has not come as a surprise to him.
'I think there is a great team here,' he says. 'We have to fight for every trophy and with the quality we have, the spirit we have and the way we are working, this is the place we have to be.
'Every player wants to play in a big team like Chelsea. The team is working great and if we combine all that hard work with the quality we have here then we will keep going in the right direction.'
As for the mentality required for the games between now and the end of the season, which includes a mouth-watering FA Cup semi-final with Tottenham, he adds: 'We have to think game-by-game and prepare for every match as a massive one, to put everything into getting the points.
'Then, at Wembley, it’s going to be a massive London derby to get into the FA Cup final and give the fans a chance to see us win another trophy. I’m really looking forward to it.'
There is plenty more in the interview in the magazine, including Alonso revealing from whom he learned his free-kick technique.
Time of his life
This month’s magazine also features an interview with a Blues defender who joined the club shortly after our last promotion from the second tier, Erland Johnsen. He discusses the reasoning behind his decision to leave German giants Bayern Munich and join a club which was yet to begin its transition into the successful outfit we are today. The Norwegian talks of his affinity for Chelsea fans and how he went from playing on a week-to-week contract in Glenn Hoddle's early days as Blues boss to being named our Player of the Year the following season.
Television presenter and journalist Fiona Phillips came along to the Bridge recently to discuss her love for the Blues and why Antonio Conte's touchline antics – as well as his managerial ability – have her mesmerised.
We have Q&As with two Chelsea Ladies players who have just signed new contracts for the club, Karen Carney and Hedvig Lindahl. Both are delighted to commit their future to the Blues and are looking forward to the forthcoming WSL Spring Series, which kicks off later this month.
Elsewhere, Photo Album looks back on our record-breaking 13-match winning run at Stamford Bridge, we pay tribute to Peter Houseman 40 years after his passing and there is plenty of fan interaction, including two supporters reflecting on Dennis Wise's goalscoring feats in the San Siro in 1999.
The latest edition of Chelsea, priced £3.25, is available from the Megastore and all good newsagents.