Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich

By Oliver Trust

There have been various reasons for one of football’s most gifted playmakers to celebrate. Thiago Alcantara scored his third consecutive goal in his Bayern Munich side’s third game after the winter break. But the genius midfielder has never been a narcissistic loudspeaker or pretentious advocate of his own ability.


As politely as possible, he has refused to comment on his latest upswing, preferring instead to focus on two crucial games in the German Cup and a duel against the Bundesliga’s second place side RB Leipzig.

Without a doubt, the 28-year-old Spaniard is one of the biggest profiteers from the coaching change at Bayern. Fans, pundits, and media talk about the stunning comeback of one who seemed to have reached his final chapter in the Bavarians’ shirt.

Downgraded to a substitute by former coach Nico Kovac, last November Thiago seemed a likely transfer candidate. Not many would have been surprised if he had left Bayern in the winter break.

Many at Bayern blamed him for a careless attitude, accusing him of disappearing in big games and neglecting his defensive duties in ordinary league games.

Written off under Kovac, he has fought his way back under successor Hansi Flick. Meanwhile, the 37-cap Spanish international has pushed Bayern back to the top of the Bundesliga, and will be regarded as a key player when the Bavarians take on Premier League side Chelsea in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

“He is ruling our game, he is supplying the frame,” Flick underlined. Teammates have called his latest performances brilliant, unique, and outstanding, and his tackle figures increased to 63.3 percent when Bayern won their latest league game 3-1 at Mainz.

The Thiago of 2020 rarely loses the ball, and if he does, is determined to get it back as quickly as possible.

His future, though, remains uncertain, as his contract expires in 2021. To sell him this summer would be Bayern’s last chance to receive a transfer fee.

Ongoing rumors speak of a possible return to Spain, and his home club Barcelona has been mentioned as a potential destination.

“We will deal with that internally,” Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic said when asked about Thiago’s future. The club’s returning hero kept silent. “Great teamwork,” written on his social media account, remained his only comment, indicating he has understood football’s most important principles, such as teamwork.

In his darker moments, he might not have believed a move back to Spain would be possible. Now he reads between the lines, noting that Bayern’s officials might have changed their mind and will increase their efforts to make him extend his contract.

With Thiago satisfying the demand to inspire the clubs’ game, the chances of Philippe Coutinho turning his loan stay at Bayern permanent seem remote, as this would require an investment of some 120 million euros. Bayern may instead elect to use their financial clout to go for Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz and Manchester City forward Leroy Sane. Enditem


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.