Xabi Alonso has become the fourth Liverpool player this week to sign a new contract at Anfield after penning a deal which will keep him at the club until 2012.
With Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher and Pepe Reina already signed up on long term deals, Alonso's decision to resist offers from abroad is another major boost for manager Rafael Benitez as he plans for the future. "I knew there was interest from other clubs but it was always my idea to stay here," said Alonso. "I have been here for three seasons now and have such special feelings for the club and the supporters. I understand what Liverpool FC means to so many people. It is such a special club and I just didn't want to leave. "We agreed that the talks would take place after the Champions League final and, to be honest, in the end it was a simple decision for me because I could see right away that the attitude of the club towards me was spot on. I greatly appreciate all the hard work that Rick Parry has put in on this contract and the faith that Rafa Benitez has shown in me. We all wanted to reach an agreement and we're all happy with the outcome. "I want to be part of what lies ahead because I know it is going to be exciting. I've signed for another five years and there's no reason why we can't be successful. "It's also good news to see that other players have signed new contracts this week. Stevie, Carra and Pepe are all big players for us and it's great they have all shown their commitment. I'm sure the manager will be bringing in new players as well and that the new owners will be making a big effort to improve the squad." After representing his country in Euro 2008 qualifiers over the past week Alonso is now looking forward to a well earned summer break - but he admits he's already dreaming about what next season may hold for the club. "I'm really excited because I think we can achieve big things," he added. "Hopefully we won't make the same mistakes next season as we did last season and we can win some more games. We want to be challenging for the top teams. "Even though I'm looking forward to a holiday and a rest I can't wait for next season to begin." The Spanish midfielder is also relishing the prospect of fighting for his place following Javier Mascherano's successful start to his Liverpool career in the centre of the field. "It's great to have competition and I am ready to fight for my place," he said. "The more top quality players we have then the better the level of the team will be. I'm confident I can play a lot of minutes on the pitch and keep the confidence of the manager."