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Pep Guardiola's Thiago Alcantara comments told you all you needed to know about Reds icon

Pep Guardiola in discussion with Thiago when the pair were at Bayern Munich
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


Former Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara has shocked the footballing world following reports that he has decided to retire from professional football. The Spanish ace was released by the Reds at the end of last season after four years on Merseyside.

The 33-year-old was blighted by injuries following his £20million move from Bayern Munich in the summer of 2020, making 97 appearances across his first three seasons, before horrendous luck with set backs saw him manage just four minutes of action in 2023/24.

But the Spaniard still remains one of his nations most talented midfielders and has a brimming trophy cabinet to prove it. Throughout his career, Thiago won no less than 27 trophies for Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool.

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Thirteen of those came under the stewardship of current Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola across two different spells for Barcelona and Bayern. The Spaniard oversaw Thiago's rise through the youth ranks at the Nou Camp before taking him to Germany in 2013.

Thiago became an important cog in Guardiola's Bayern machine, with his manager once describing him as a "super player" ahead of bringing him to the Allianz Arena in 2013.

When asked about the former Barca midfielder, following reports he was keen to bring him to the Bundesliga at the time, Guardiola said in a press conference: "Nobody wants to leave Barça, but they do want game time. Thiago wants to play. That's what we can offer. We have a lot of games and need to rotate the squad a lot. Thiago can play as a number 6, 8, 10, 11 and even a number 7."

He added: "Thiago can play in 3 or 4 positions and is great in the one-on-ones. I know how much potential he has. He is a great player. It is either Thiago or nothing. [Matthias] Sammer and [Karl-Heinz] Rummenigge know my reasons for wanting Thiago. He's a super player."

Thiago would sign a four-year deal with the German giants for €25million (£21million) on July 14, 2013. In seven seasons at the club, he won seven consecutive Bundesliga titles, four German Cups, one Champions League and one FIFA Club World Cup.

There were also Bundesliga Team of the Season accolades in 2016/17 and 2018/19, as well as a Champions League Squad of the Season in 2019/20.

The Spaniard eventually joined Jurgen Klopp's Reds in the summer of 2020, adding FA Cup and FA Community Shield winners medals in 2022 to his trophy cabinet. There was also a Champions League runners-up accolade at the end of the 2021/22 campaign and a place in the PFA Team of the Year in what was arguably his best season at Anfield.

Thiago left Liverpool at the end of the most recent campaign with 98 appearances under his belt, recording three goals and six assists across all competitions.