Former Liverpool midfielder hangs up his boots after injury nightmare

Former Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara has decided to retire from professional football at the age of 33.

After a career marked by both accolades and injuries, the highly decorated Spaniard is set to hang up his boots, according to multiple reports.

The news comes after the former Barcelona man's contract with the Anfield club officially came to an end on 30 June.

Although not yet officially confirmed, this decision brings the curtain down on a distinguished career that spanned almost 500 professional matches, including 46 international caps for Spain.

A product of the La Masia academy

Thiago began his journey in football at Barcelona's famed La Masia academy. He broke into the first team at the Catalan giants but having been in the shadows of the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta, he left the club four years after his debut to join Bayern Munich in 2013.

During his time with Bayern, Thiago enjoyed significant success, but his career was marred by a series of injuries which began under the management of Hansi Flick.

After seven successful years in Germany, where he won seven Bundesliga titles and numerous other honours, Thiago moved to Liverpool in 2020.

Despite high hopes, his time at Anfield was also plagued by injuries and he made just 98 appearances in all competitions across four seasons.

Nevertheless, he made an enormous contribution during the 2021–22 season, when the Reds narrowly missed out on winning a historic Quadruple.

Thiago

Football - FA Premier League - Arsenal FC v Liverpool FC LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 4, 2024: Liverpool s Thiago AlcÃntara during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda LONDON Emirates Stadium GREATER LONDON ENGLAND PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK Copyright: xDavidxRawcliffex P2024-02-04-Arsenal_Liverpool-95

Several offers rejected

The midfielder’s decision to retire comes after considering offers from several clubs, including La Liga side Girona and teams from the Saudi league, which he declined.

Football transfer expert Fabrizio Romano was among the first to report on Thiago’s retirement plans, stating that the player is ready to move on to the next chapter of his life.

The Italian wrote on X: "Thiago’s passion and love for the game continues as he’s ready for new chapter in football after few months planning for it."

A highly distinguished career

Thiago's career is decorated with a remarkable list of honours. He boasts two Champions League titles, two FIFA Club World Cups, and two UEFA Super Cups.

Domestically, he has four La Liga titles, seven Bundesliga championships, two Copa del Rey trophies, an FA Cup, a League Cup and a Community Shield, among other accolades.

With Spain, he claimed victory in the UEFA European Under-21 Championship twice and the UEFA European Under-17 Championship once.

During his time at Liverpool, Thiago made a significant impact despite his struggles with injuries. His technical skills and vision on the pitch were widely recognised, and he quickly became a fan favourite, despite his dwindling appearances over time.

As Thiago steps away from professional football, he does so with an impressive legacy. His contributions to the clubs he played for and his international performances have cemented his place in football history.

While injuries may have hindered his career progression at times, his talent and achievements speak volumes about his quality as a player.

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