IT is no surprise that Marcos Alonso has proven to be a hit at Chelsea, he comes from a dynasty of Spanish footballing aristocracy that dates back three generations.
The 30-year-old Spaniard, who has become a key cog in Thomas Tuchel’s side, but isn’t the flashiest of players or the Blues star most likely to draw headlines.
He has titles, including the Champions League with the Blues and it seems the title-winning DNA has been passed down to him through the generations.
Not just from his father, but his grandfather as well.
His dad Marcos Alonso Pena – known as Marcos – was a Barcelona star who won the title under Terry Venables in 1985 and played alongside stars such as Maradona and Gary Lineker.
And his grandad Maros Alonso Imaz – who was nicknamed Marquitos – was a key member of the greatest Real Madrid side ever that won the European Cup five times in a row.
Together the Alonso family make up possibly the greatest footballing dynasty ever.
GRANDFATHER – Marquitos, full name Marcos Alonso Imaz
Born in 1933, the defender, affectionately known as Marquitos started his career at hometown club Racing Santander.
Two years later he put in a great performance against Real Madrid – and the club decided to move for him.
The defender would become an integral part of the dominant Los Blancos team alongside Alfredo Di Stefano and Ferenc Puskas that won FIVE European Cups in a row.
Playing across the three full-back positions in the club’s ‘WM’ formation, Marquitos was a stalwart in the starting XI.
The club website describes him as “versatile and daring.
“His true position on the pitch was at right-back, but he also showed tremendous qualities as a centre back.”
Marquitos, who also won two caps for Spain, started in four of the five European Cup finals – and even scored in the first ever European Cup final in 1956.
Playing against Stade de Reims, Real Madrid were 3-2 down when the defender poked home from close range to equalise. Hector Rial then scored the winner.
“I passed the ball to Di Stefano and he gave it back to me,” said the Madrid legend on the Chelsea player’s website.
“I fed [Ramon] Marsal but his shot on goal was parried by the French goalkeeper but it found me and none of the players of Stade de Reims could prevent both efforts. It brought me great joy!”
Real went on to win the European Cup again in 1957, 1958, 1959 and 1960, the latter game being the amazing 7-3 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt at Hampden Park that many experts rate one of the most perfect performances ever.
Watched by 135,000 mesmerised fans, the greatest Real Madrid side ever confirmed their place in the footballing hall of fame as a Di Stefano hat-trick rounded off a ground-breaking display.
Overall, Marquitos played 158 times for Real Madrid, and earned two caps for Spain.
He retired in 1971 after a short spell playing for Toluca in Mexico.
Marquitos died on 6 March 2012, month before his 79th birthday.
FATHER – Marcos, full name Marcos Alonso Pena
Marcos Alonso Pena was born in 1959 in Santander, and immediately was taken on by Real Madrid where his father had been such a legend.
However it didn’t work out for the tricky young winger and he was moved on to his local team Racing Santander.
He moved to Atletico Madrid and in 1982 he became Spanish football’s most expensive signing when Barcelona paid 150million pesetas – or around £800,000.
The record didn’t last long however. A few weeks later Barcelona paid £5million to sign Argentinian superstar Diego Maradona.
Managed by Argentina’s World Cup winning boss Cesar Luis Menotti, Barcelona won the Copa del Rey in 1983, beating Real Madrid 2-1 in the final, thanks to Marcos scoring a spectacular diving header in injury time to clinch the cup.
Marcos, front row second from the left, lines up to play for Barcelona against Aston Villa in 1983
Two years later Marcos was a key member of the Barcelona side that won La Liga in Terry Venables’ first season in charge, ending an 11-year barren run for the Catalan giants.
The winger, who was capped 22 times for Spain, was one of the four Barca players to miss a penalty in a shoot-out defeat to Steaua Bucharest in the European Cup final in 1986.
Gary Lineker and Mark Hughes arrived that summer but Barcelona failed to sparkle and Venables was sacked and Marcos sold back to Atletico Madrid in the summer of 1987.
Marcos retired in 1991 and turned his hand to management, which took him to eight clubs in Spain, most notably in charge of his former club Atletico Madrid.
His last managerial post was in 2008 when he was in charge of Granada 74.
SON – Marcos Alonso, full name Marcos Alonso Mendoza
Marcos Alonso was born in Madrid in December 1990 and, like his father and grandfather before him, joined Real Madrid’s youth academy aged 12.
Alonso moved seamlessly through the various age groups until finally manager Manuel Pellegrini gave him his deubt, as a sub for Gonzaol Higuain in April 2010.
That summer the 19-year-old defender joined Bolton for just £1.5million however as his career took a unexpected twist.
The young Spaniard spent three seasons at Bolton, playing 46 games for the club.
He spent most of his time playing for the Under-21s at the Lancashire FA’s base and rarely featured in the first team as Bolton were relegated to the Championship.
However he managed to win manager Dougie Freedman round and in 2013 he was voted The Bolton News’ player of the year but he turned down the offer of a new deal to sign on a free transfer for Italian side Fiorentina.
But he was soon back in England as Sunderland manager Gus Poyet brought him in on loan after he failed to make the first team in Florence.
Alonso played 20 times as the Black Cats managed to avoid relegation, and Poyet wanted to make the move permanent in the summer.
But Fiorentina manager Vincenzo Montella had other ideas and he became their first choice left back the following season.
He spent two productive years at Fiorentina, making 85 appearances in the first team.
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte swooped to sign him for £24million, which at the time looked to be an extortionately high price.
At the time, Fiorentina fan site violanation.com wrote: “While this may seem grossly excessive, don’t be fooled. It is grossly excessive.”
But it has proven money well spent, as Alonso has gone to become a first team star.