Premier League

Thiago Alcantara set to retire from professional football

Thiago Alcantara set to retire from professional football

Thiago Alcantara is expected to announce his retirement from professional football, bringing an end to a glittering playing career.

The 33-year-old left Liverpool at the end of June following the expiration of his contract and he was expected to be a top transfer target for the Saudi Pro League.

But Fabrizio Romano reports that Thiago has instead decided to call it quits on his playing career and will retire, instead embarking on a ‘new chapter in football’.

Thiago will retire having played 488 senior club games, as well as 46 times for the Spanish national team.

The mercurial midfielder struggled with injuries and fitness issues throughout his incredible playing career – it’s estimated he missed 364 matches in his career because of these problems. But when Thiago was fit to play, he was often among the world’s best in his position.

Thiago, the son of former Brazil international Mazinho, was born in Italy before growing up in his father’s homeland. However, he also spent time in Spain while his father was playing there and joined the youth ranks of Barcelona in 2005, eventually making his first-team debut in 2009 under Pep Guardiola.

Known for his mazing dribbles and precision passing, Thiago quickly drew comparisons to Andres Iniesta and was hailed as the future of Barca’s midfield, but left the club to reunite with Guardiola at Bayern Munich in 2013.

He spent seven years in Bavaria and signed off in a blaze of Champions League glory in 2020, deciding to join Liverpool and work under Jurgen Klopp.

All the while, Thiago made the Spain squad for three major tournaments, though did not win anything at international level. Nevertheless, he swept up 27 trophies across his club career.

Thiago’s final season as a professional football proved to be a rather miserable one from a playing perspective, featuring in just five minutes of action, coming on as a late substitute in Liverpool’s 3-1 loss at Arsenal.

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