Thiago Alcantara’s masterful performance against Manchester United on Tuesday night has made Liverpool fans well and truly fall in love with him.
The way the 31-year-old pinged delightful passes around the Anfield pitch was mesmeric at times. To do that in any game would have been impressive, but to do it against one of Liverpool’s biggest rivals only added to the magic.
It has been a frustratingly injury-hit year-and-a-half for Thiago. On Tuesday though, as Liverpool battered a sorry United team, it felt as though he had finally arrived as a Liverpool player.
Footage released from the Inside Anfield series on Liverpool’s official YouTube channel has confirmed this even further.
Emerging from the tunnel for the second-half, Thiago reached up to pat the fabled This Is Anfield sign that hangs above the doorway.
A small gesture, but one that will no doubt endear him the to Liverpool faithful even further.
Difficult beginnings at Anfield
It has sometimes felt like Thiago has been something of a tourist in the Liverpool squad. After winning everything club football has to offer with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, that he came to Liverpool to wind down his peak years.
The unfamiliar feeling of empty stadiums made it hard to build a connection with players arriving to the club at that time. For the players themselves, it must have been difficult to truly feel at home, too.
That Liverpool and Thiago struggled so much with injuries throughout the season added to the surreal feeling. Some were surely left wondering if it would ever work out for Thiago at Liverpool.
Silencing the critics
Those doubts have been blown out of the water by the Spaniard’s sensational displays since fans have returned. Thiago and his family appear to be settled and loving life in Liverpool, too.
Last season was the first in his career that had ended trophy-less. Thiago seemingly took that personally. With the Carabao Cup in the bag, Liverpool are now on the hunt for a trophy on all four fronts this time around.
From tricky beginnings, it could be that Thiago’s stint at Anfield ends up being the most impressive of his storied career.