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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
Hansi #Flick on @Thiago6: "Thiago is an exceptional player who spent seven hugely successful years here. He's a wonderful person and an outstanding professional. It was very emotional today when he said goodbye to us all." #FCBayern #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/QBU0O0UPmf
— FC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) September 17, 2020