Real Madrid ace Xabi Alonso has paid tribute to his former Liverpool fans.

The Spain international spent five years on Merseyside before returning to La Liga to play for Real Madrid.

However, 18 months at the Bernabeu has not dimmed his memories of the Kop.

"To play for Liverpool is something very special," he told the Spanish edition of Vogue magazine.

"There is a very intimate connection between the fans and players that doesn't exist at other clubs.

"Even in bad times, the stands do not whistle. Instead they sing You'll Never Walk Alone."

 It's all kicking off again! Click here for the No1 coverage of Liverpool's winter market transfer news.