Jurgen Klopp admitted Thiago ‘frustration’ in emotional tribute and gave one-word summary

Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp's words of praise for Thiago Alcantara now sound that much more fitting after the player's retirement plans were confirmed.

Both player and manager left Liverpool earlier this summer, with Thiago's tenure spanning slightly less than half of Klopp's reign. While it was the manager's choice to step down, 33-year-old Thiago has seemingly snubbed the contract offers sent his way after being plagued by injuries for his final 18 months at Anfield.

Despite the limited game time, he remained one of the most gifted players to don Liverpool red in the club's recent history. He was a delight to watch at the peak of his powers and clearly earned immense respect from Klopp.

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"Before he even came to Liverpool I believed that if you really love football it would make a lot of sense if you watched Thiago Alcantara play," Klopp told the club site (via when the Spaniard's departure was announced. "Technically, he is so, so good. A talent who could play in any team in the world and it was a privilege to have him with us.

"I already knew a lot about him as a footballer before he got here what he did at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, how could you not? And I could not have been happier when he decided to take on a new challenge with us."

However, one word from Klopp's praise stood out more than most as he summarised his own impression of the player, who won an FA Cup at Anfield, as well as finishing as a runner-up in the Champions League.

"From that point on I got to see him up close and all I can say is 'Wow,'" added the German. "Most importantly, he was part of a new story and helped us develop as a team because of his special qualities."

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp with Thiago Alcantara
Thiago managed just 98 appearances for Liverpool across four seasons -Credit:Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The story of Thiago's time at Liverpool can't be told without mentioning his injury struggles, which Klopp acknowledged was painful for everyone to deal with. "I know injuries have been a frustration for him and also for us. But the level that he was able to play at when he was available was incredible.

"This is what I will remember. Now he will go in a new direction with his family and we can only wish them well. Wherever he plays next I would be happy to watch. An artist of the game who will only ever paint the most beautiful pictures."

In a surprising turn of events, it appears Thiago won't be taking to the pitch again despite reports of offers in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. Nonetheless, most fans will echo Klopp's sentiments and wish the Spaniard nothing the best in his future endeavours.

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