Marcos Alonso Chelsea

For the uninitiated, Marcos Alonso was arrested in 2011. The former Bolton man was drunk-driving and smashed his car into the wall. The woman, who was in the car with him, succumbed to injuries 30 minutes after reaching the hospital and died.

Initially, he got a prison sentence but completely settled the matter after paying the victim’s family €600,000. It was a horrifying thing to happen to anybody, and Marcos Alonso is just unfortunate that he has to live with this for the rest of his life while others keep reminding him of it.

Look at me, for instance. I am doing precisely that by bringing this up, but the truth is that the Spaniard’s mental strength should be commended for being able to get over the incident and become the player that he is today.

Alonso is not a murderer by any means. What happened to him could have happened to any 21-year-old kid. Partying out with friends and then racing on the streets with a car is something most of you must have already done.

But since you are safe, the magnitude of the carelessness has evaded you. For Alonso, however, it was a lesson that he would never forget.

He didn’t forget – and that is why he is the player that he is today.

The former Fiorentina full-back wasn’t really among the highest-rated youth products in the Real Madrid academy, but he is now the first-choice left-back for the champions of England. And his performance against Tottenham shows just why.

After bending in a perfectly-taken free-kick, he slid in Pedro’s pass past Hugo Lloris to give his team a 2-1 win against the runners-up of last season. It showcased a great evolution of a player that plied his trade in the mid-table mediocrity of Serie A to the top echelons of the Premier League.

And it was because he learned from his great mistake – he didn’t let it consume him, rather he used it to mould him into a player that nobody thought would be forged.

It is not to say that what happened was good. It wasn’t — and that is the point. Going to sleep every night with the guilt of having blood on your hands and waking up everyday with the same burden isn’t easy – and it is for this reason that Alonso’s rise to the top is somewhat extraordinary.

In November 2014, Australian cricketer Phil Hughes died after being hit under the ear by a bouncer bowled by Sean Abbott. Before that incident, Abbott played in 4 international games. After that, however, he hasn’t represented Australia ever again.

The talented bowler couldn’t recover from what had happened and has seemingly lost the way, which is a shame because he was among the top-rated talents in the country.

Something similar could have happened to Alonso, but the Spaniard grew from strength to strength – perhaps this is his way to honour her death and her family’s charitable nature.

Perhaps, this is Marcos Alonso’s salvation – his tribute to her.

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