Thiago Alcantara during the UEFA Champions League match between Liverpool and Benfica at Anfield, Liverpool, April 2022.

Watch: Liverpool’s Thiago almost scores ridiculous long-range effort

Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara almost scored a goal for the ages during their Champions League semi-final against Villarreal on Wednesday evening.

Jurgen Klopp’s side entered the first-leg at Anfield as heavy favourites to progress to next month’s final in Paris and extend their chances of winning a unique quadruple.

But Villarreal have eliminated Juventus and Bayern Munich from this season’s competition and Unai Emery’s side were stubborn opponents for Liverpool during a soporific first-half.

As the first 45 minutes meandered towards a goalless conclusion, Thiago ignited the occasion with a sensational long-range effort that was inches away from the back of the net.

The midfielder, who joined Liverpool in the summer of 2020, curled his shot and was desperately unlucky to see the ball bounce back off the crossbar.

And Thiago used the opportunity to gee up the Anfield crowd, who’d fallen into a deep sleep as Liverpool struggled to break down their La Liga opponents.

While he’s playing some of the best football of his career in the heart of the Reds’ midfield, Thiago almost joined bitter rivals Manchester United if Rio Ferdinand is to be believed.

“Thiago has been the stand out midfielder for the last few weeks and months he’s been absolutely top,” Ferdinand said on his Vibe With Five podcast.

“You look at his stats? Thiago’s pass accuracy by the way in the last two games against Everton and Man Utd 98.4% against Everton and 95.6% against Everton. That is ridiculous.

“I spoke to him at the time. He speaks perfect English, he was a great guy, wanted to come to United. But you look at him now and he couldn’t be happier.”

More Liverpool

How Klopp’s Liverpool have fared in 6 knockouts against Spanish clubs

Can you name every player to score 5+ UCL goals for Liverpool?