Evaluating Thiago’s Legacy as Liverpool Exit Looms

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Time To Move On From The Great Thiago Alcântara, Reluctantly

I am possibly the most reluctant and resistant to the thought of Thiago Alcântara leaving Anfield, as his stature and ability is something I would only compare to other time greats. Despite nearly a year without the magical Spaniard playing for Liverpool, those few minutes where he entered the pitch last Sunday (against Arsenal) were still marvelous and I was ecstatic to see him enter the fray. With the scores in the balance 2-1 at that point, I saw that Jürgen Klopp roll of the dice (in the 85th minute) as potentially game changing, given the impact such rare talents can have when the ball is at their feet.

Unfortunately, a second yellow card for Ibrahima Konaté was the allowed the third Arsenal goal, thereby ruining what should have been an enthralling finals ten minutes. Those final few minutes on the pitch appeared to have aggravated a muscle for the incoming substitute, with the diagnosis pointing to a hamstring problem that could well end the season for the former Munich man. This injury prone midfielder could well be the most talented player that Anfield has ever seen, however, we may now have seen the last of him.

Accomplishments of the World Class Conductor

International Achievements

Spain:

Under-17 European Champion – 2008

Under-21 European Champion – 2011 & 2013

Domestic Achievements

Barcelona:

La Liga – 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2012/13

Copa del Rey – 2011/12

Supercopa de España – 2010, 2011

UEFA Champions League – 2010/11

UEFA Super Cup – 2011

FIFA World Club Cup – 2011

Bayern Munich: 

Bundesliga – 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20

DFB-Pokal – 2013/14, 2015/16, 2018/19, 2019/20

DFL – Supercup – 2016, 2018

UEFA Champions League – 2019/20

FIFA World Club Cup – 2013

Liverpool:

FA Cup – 2021/22

FA Community Shield – 2022

Individual Achievements

Spain:

Under-21 European Championships – Team of the Tournament – 2011

Under-21 European Championships – Golden Player – 2013

Under-21 European Championships – Silver Boot – 2013

Under-21 European Championships – Team of the Tournament – 2013

Bundesliga Team of the Season – 2016/17

Champions League Squad of the Season – 2019/20

UEFA Team of the Year – 2020

FIFA World 11 – 2020

PFA Team of the Year – 2021/22

My genuine fear is that like with so many other former players, the brilliance will be watered down due to the unfortunate circumstances surrounding that footballing requirement, called fitness. Players do not choose nor want to be injured, as you can commonly see the pain etched on the faces of those who too Supercop often fall foul of such a predicament. Imagine being blessed with such otherworldly ability, only to be restricted in the pursuit to share such brilliance.

As a footballer, the Brazilian born 32-year-old is box office and comparable to the likes of Zinedine Zidane and former teammates, Xavi, and Andrés Iniesta. The absurdity in his peak performances is staggering and you could spend an entire game watching how the controlling entity orchestrates all that surrounds him. The defining issues remain, however, that those moments have now regressed to less than sporadic and the former Barcelona player may now have played his last game for the reds.

With a contract that expires at the close of this season, it would be impossible to see that deal being extended by the next manager. Ultimately, all great things must come to an end, which could entail wonderful technician retiring in the summer. A move to a far less robust and demanding league is of course viable, as the richer clubs in the Saudi Pro League would no doubt pay handsomely to recruit such a remarkable ambassador of the game.

Photo: IMAGO

Any Pathway To New Liverpool Deal?

I am reluctant to accept this is the end of Thiago’s Anfield stay, yet the reality and lack of availability will dictate that decision. The only possible solution would be to see Xabi Alonso take the reins in the place of the departing Jürgen Klopp, before enforcing a desire to see his compatriot and former Bayern Munich teammate, taken on in a player / coaching capacity. Though this theory holds no weight, it would be a marvelous way to fully integrate both midfield masters into Liverpool v2.0.

If this is truly the end, I hope that the fanbase remember home for the best days, rather than those he sadly was not available for.

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