Nine quotes on Liverpool-bound Thiago from Xavi, Pep, Klopp: ‘The heartbeat’

Liverpool are reportedly on the verge of signing Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich.

The 29-year-old Spain international is widely regarded as one of the best midfielders in world football. His future has been a constant source of speculation this summer as he runs into the final year of his contract at the Allianz Arena, having won the treble last season and a seventh-straight Bundesliga title.

The transfer saga looks to be ending imminently, with Bayern manager Hansi Flick admitting the player has said his goodbyes. Here are nine quotes about Thiago, from those who know him best.

Vicente del Bosque

“Thiago has the option of choosing which team he wants to play for,” Spain’s World Cup-winning coach told Marca after calling up Thiago, son Brazilian World Cup winner Mazinho, for the first time in 2011. “He is in the squad due to sporting merit.”

“There are players, who for his [Thiago’s] career achievements, should be in the Brazil squad,” he added. “We do not look at the status of each player, we look at their quality. Right now, I’ve got a lot of confidence in the likes of Thiago.”

Niko Kovac 

“What can I say about Thiago? He’s a coach’s dream,” former Bayern boss Niko Kovac said after the double-winning 2018-19 season.

“We’ve got a massive pool of exceptional midfielders, but he’s the heartbeat of our midfield, a player who can do everything with the ball.”

Pep Guardiola

“No doubt about it,” responded the Manchester City manager, who handed Thiago his debut at Barcelona before signing him at Bayern Munich in 2013, when asked if he will do well in England.

“A player who plays for Barcelona and Bayern Munich can play in the Premier League. Of course he can play. He’s an exceptional player, but I don’t know what he’s going to do.”

READ: Comparing Thiago Alcantara’s 2019-20 stats to Liverpool’s current midfielders

Wayne Rooney

“If Liverpool get Thiago from Bayern Munich, I think it is done [the title],” the former Manchester United striker told talkSPORT.

“That is a better signing than Messi going to Man City.”


“I think he is an extraordinary player,” the Barcelona legend said back in 2013, when Thiago still had to be patient for opportunities in Barcelona’s midfield.

“Thiago is not just a player for the future, but he is someone who can make an impact right now as well.”

Hansi Flick

“When you see him on the pitch and in training, you see his extraordinary quality in possession of the ball,” said Bayern boss Hansi Flick, under whom Thiago won the treble last term.

“But he has also now shown that he can defend. For me, there are no two opinions about Thiago’s quality.

“He is an exceptional player that gives a team that certain something. That’s my opinion and there is no other one.”

Jurgen Klopp 

Liverpool’s manager was reluctant to say too much last month amid speculation linking Thiago with an Anfield move, but he couldn’t help praise him.

“Thiago Alcantara is a great player, but also a Bayern Munich player,” the German stated.

“That’s actually all there is to say. There’s nothing to say! I have no idea who will play for me next year, there is nothing to say at the moment.”

Owen Hargreaves

One man that will be disappointed to see the transfer go through is former Bayern midfielder Owen Hargreaves.

“They have got to keep Thiago, he is so important and he was fantastic,” he told BT Sport after the Champions League final victory over PSG.

“Liverpool fans would have been watching that saying yes please,”


“Sometimes you watch matches and think, ‘Neither team wants the ball.’ It’s ugly,” the man himself told The Guardian in 2015, describing his personal outlook on the game.

“I’m definitely not [the same player], I’ve matured but it’s probably true that my idea is the same [as when I was a kid]: win, enjoy it. That’s still the joy of football for me: having the ball, touching it, passing, dribbling, scoring. Having the ball is fundamental.”

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