‘Thank you, football’: Thiago Alcântara retires after leaving Liverpool

‘Thank you, football’: Thiago Alcântara retires after leaving Liverpool

Thiago Alcântara has said he is “grateful” for a career that saw him grace the midfields of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool, after announcing his retirement from the game.

The 33-year-old left Liverpool when his contract expired last month after an injury-plagued spell at Anfield that prompted his decision to retire. He made 98 appearances for Jürgen Klopp’s side, winning the FA Cup and League Cup in 2022, but played only six Premier League minutes last season because of a persistent hip injury.

Thiago, who won 46 caps for Spain, announced on X: “I will always be willing to give back what I have been given and I am grateful for the time I have enjoyed it. Thank you, football. And to all who accompanied me and made me a better player and person along the way. See you soon, Thiago.”

The gifted midfielder came through the ranks at Barcelona and made his debut in 2009 at the age of 18. He began to establish himself in the side in 2010-11 when Barcelona won La Liga and the Champions League under Pep Guardiola. Thiago won another Spanish title, the Club World Cup and the Copa del Rey over the next two seasons before joining Bayern for €25m in 2013.

He won the Bundesliga title in each of his seven seasons at Bayern along with four German Cups, the Club World Cup and the Champions League in 2020. A £20m move to Liverpool followed that Champions League triumph but, despite illuminating Klopp’s midfield on occasions, injuries frequently interrupted his time on Merseyside.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are in talks with the former Everton defender John Heitinga about becoming first-team coach under Arne Slot. Heitinga impressed at West Ham last season after being reunited with his former manager at Everton, David Moyes, and is being considered for a part in Slot’s backroom staff.

“All I can say now is that I have been approached and my agent Rob Jansen and I are in conversation,” confirmed the former Netherlands international. Liverpool have appointed the former Manchester City analyst Aaron Briggs as elite development coach. Briggs replaces Vítor Matos, who left Anfield at the end of last season and has joined Pepijn Lijnders at RB Salzburg.

Source: theguardian.com