Hansi Flick had visited FC Bayern’s training center. That was part of his job as sports director of the German Football Association, an office he had held since the 2014 World Cup. Just drop by. See what the others are doing. Whether everything is going well in the country of the world champion. Thiago Alcantara stood on one of the training grounds, juggled the ball, played passes. Flick is said to have said that day, Thiago, it brings tears to your eyes when you watch.
These weeks, the reported SportBild, Thiago’s time at Bayern could end. The midfielder, who played in Munich for seven years and celebrated seven German championships during this time, is said to have decided not to sign a new contract offer. A farewell is hinting. A farewell that would be too much for the Super Bayern. And yet it would mean an unacceptable loss.
Style instead of further, always further
The anecdote by Hansi Flick, who has to wipe the tears from his face when he sees Thiago, comes from a text by Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung. Title: „The Ball Magnet ”. Which is funny, after all, the headline would have too „Tempo and genius ”or „The liaison officer ”can be. These terms chose Spiegel and worldwhen they wrote portraits of Thiago on the same day. That was in April 2015, Bayern had just moved into the Champions League semi-final after a high 6-1 against Porto. When Thiago had finally demonstrated his skills and words had to be found for what was happening on the square.
Thiago had already been with Bayern for two years. He came with Pep Guardiola, who had requested his transfer, to the team that had just won the triple. When many asked: is it possible to make this team even better? Was it. No problem. If the team had played dominant football in previous years, it offered much more under Pep Guardiola. It often seemed that Bayern didn’t play against an opponent, but only against themselves. To see how close they could get to perfection. It was the time when notorious Bayern haters found it difficult to complain. Bayern showed style instead of further, always further.
Complex and rhythmic
Thiago, the model student from FC Barcelona, only played occasionally at the beginning. Also because of his physical problems, the Bavarians had been able to oblige him for the ridiculous price of 20 million euros. Of 108 possible competitive games in the first two seasons, he played 38. But then, in the third year, Thiago made more than suggestions about how he could play football. He changed FC Bayern.
Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery were injured. So Thiago took over. His playing was exciting, complex, rhythmic. He often collected the most ball contacts of all Bundesliga players at the end of a season. „We get less from outside dribbling, now Lewy or I can go more deeply, ”said Thomas Müller at the time and said: „You have to do justice to the characters on the pitch. ”