Soccer-Chelsea's Alonso bids to keep European Cup finals in the family - Metro US

Soccer-Chelsea’s Alonso bids to keep European Cup finals in the family

FILE PHOTO: Premier League - Manchester City v Chelsea

(Reuters) – All players involved in Saturday’s Champions League final can expect their families to be watching closely but none will quite have the experience of Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso, who is set to continue a remarkable family dynasty.

Should he get on the pitch against Manchester City, the full back will join his grandfather and father, also called Marcos, in playing in a European Cup final.

The late Marcos Alonso Imaz, affectionately known as Marquitos, won the first five European Cups with Real Madrid.

His most important moment came in the inaugural 4-3 victory over Stade de Reims when he scored an equaliser after a solo drive forward known as “The fury of Marquitos”.

He won his final gong with Real, the epic 7-3 win over Eintracht Frankfurt in 1960, seven months after the birth of his son, Marcos Alonso Pena, who followed his father’s footsteps into the European Cup final in 1986.

Yet he did so with Real’s rivals Barcelona and had an unhappy experience, missing a penalty in the shootout as Steaua Bucharest prevailed to lift the trophy after a goalless draw.

Alonso Pena still played his part in big Barca triumphs though, such as scoring a last-minute winner in a Copa del Rey final win over Real.

Marcos Alonso, 30, came through Real’s academy but only played a couple of minutes of stoppage time for the first team before mapping out a very different career path to his grandfather and father.

He left for Bolton Wanderers aged 19 and in 2011 was involved in a car crash after a night out in Madrid which led to the death of a woman passenger.

Alonso faced a four-year prison sentence for drunk driving and causing death and injury by negligent driving which was reduced to 21 months before being dropped in exchange for a fine.

He resumed playing for Bolton months after the accident and later joined Sunderland and Serie A side Fiorentina before signing for Chelsea in 2016.

Alonso helped Chelsea win the Premier League title in his first season although his influence in the team has faded in the last year, making only 15 appearances in the league and Champions League in this campaign.

He scored the winning goal when Chelsea last faced City, however, and could prove a useful presence from the bench in the final.

Alonso’s grandfather died in 2012 aged 78.

“He went to my first few games when I was at the academy and everyone wanted to get a picture with him instead of watching us play. I felt so proud that he was so popular and so loved by the fans,” Alonso told Chelsea’s website in May.

Should he get on the pitch in Porto and Chelsea are behind, he could do worse than seek inspiration from “the fury of Marquitos”.

(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)

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