Steven Gerrard has hailed Xabi Alonso as 'pure quality' after the former Liverpool midfielder announced his intention to retire at the end of this season.

The Spaniard will call time on a distinguished career – which included spells with Real Sociedad, the Reds, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich – when 2016-17 draws to a close.

A World Cup winner, European champion and hugely popular figure in the game, Alonso helped Liverpool win the Champions League and FA Cup in making more than 200 appearances.

“You are pure quality,” Gerrard said of the 35-year-old in a tribute on Instagram.

“A class act on the pitch and a gentleman off it. It was a pleasure to play alongside you and I missed you every day from the moment you left the Reds.

“Congratulations on your perfect career and good luck to you and your family in the future. Legend.”

Alonso's LFC story in his own words