Ask yourselves this: who would you consider to be the most successful footballer when it comes to making interceptions across Europe's top five leagues?
I bet you answered someone like Chelsea's N'Golo Kante or Barcelona's Sergio Busquets. Well, you'd be wrong. The outright winner of most interceptions made by any player in one of European football's biggest leagues is, in fact, someone that may not even cross your minds:
Thiago Alcântara has made more interceptions (99) than any other player in Europe's top 5 leagues this season.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 30, 2017
Pure timing. pic.twitter.com/tLRBiwhepr
That's right, Bayern Munich's diminutive midfield star Thiago Alcantara has made more interceptions than the heralded Kante and Barca supremo Busquets. The ex-Catalan star has not been someone that was renowned for his defensive actions earlier in his career but, under the tutelage of Carlo Ancelotti at the Allianz Arena, has seen that side of his game come on leaps and bounds.
Thiago's attacking forays have always been a strong part of his overall game, but now that he has added a steeliness to his all-around ability, he has become one of the best midfielders across the continent and world football as a whole.
So, remember, the next time the likes of Kante and Busquets are showered with praise for the midfield enforcing, throw Thiago's name into the hat. And don't forget to educate those with this intriguing stat for good measure!
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