Jurgen Klopp will have been pleased to see Thiago Alcantara start last night’s international clash between Spain and Greece from the bench.
Thiago has featured frequently for Liverpool since returning from a long-term knee injury in December. It was good to see him earn a much-needed rest.
It lasted until the 72nd minute, with Thiago replacing Atletico Madrid captain, Koke. Despite only being on the field for 18 minutes, the Spaniard enjoyed 30 touches of the ball, averaging a pass success rate of 80 per cent.
Ultimately, Spain suffered a frustrating start to their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign as they were held to a draw by Greece in Granada.
Alvaro Morata had the hosts in the ascendancy just after the half-hour mark, but later conceded a penalty after substitute Inigo Martinez was penalised for a rash tackle on Greek midfielder Giorgos Masouras.
Subscribe to Rousing The Kop TV now
Anastasios Bakasetas converted from the spot to stun Luis Enrique’s team and earn his side an impressive point.
Despite the disappointing result from a Spain perspective, Thiago later posted a message on his Instagram which featured him wearing the captain’s armband.
Spain’s two upcoming international fixtures will take place next week against Georgia and Kosovo.
Thiago’s Liverpool teammate, Kostas Tsimikas, was also in action last night in the Spanish city of Granada.
The Greek international made his first competitive start since December 2020 – his previous outing took place in the Champions League against FC Midtjylland.
Tsimikas enjoyed a strong all-round display for his country, too. He managed more touches than any other of his Greek teammates, 44 in total, per WhoScored.
The £11.75 million [BBC] man from Olympiacos also produced more tackles than any other player (five), as well as one clearance and a blocked shot to cap off a strong defensive display.
Tsimikas, too, took to Instagram after the game. He even had a classy message for his Liverpool teammate Thiago, whom he called ‘my brother’.
Meanwhile, Greece’s next two matches in the coming days will take place against Honduras and then Georgia.