Thiago says there is ‘less magic, less fantasy’ in modern football

Date published: Saturday 19th June 2021 1:22 - Jason Soutar


Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara has given his take on modern football, saying that there is ‘less magic’ in the game these days.

Thiago could start for Spain later today as they face off against Poland in Group E of Euro 2020, having started on the bench in their 0-0 draw against Sweden on Monday night.

In an interview with The Guardian, the ex-Bayern Munich man touched on his feelings about the current state of football.

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“It’s taken up a different pace, rhythm; more accelerated, more physical,” he said.

“The figure of the number ten has almost disappeared. We see less magic, less fantasy. Footballers do more but faster. There’s no need to dribble because you run. Players are more developed in every sense.

“You lose that player who’s different, who breathes; the playmaker who was slower even if he had sublime technique doesn’t get the opportunity to turn.

“Those of us who are not so fast with our legs have to be faster in our heads. It’s like anything in life; adaptation. Things keep moving. Football changes constantly, expressed differently.

“It’s something I’ve seen, especially in the national team. You get young players arrive who are quick, full of desire, well-prepared, very diligent.

“When I was 18, I would grab a coffee, sit, chat, and then five minutes before training put my boots on and go out. Now, 30, 45 minutes before, they’re in the gym preparing; mobility, strength work. Things evolve. We didn’t do that because no one explained it to us.”

Thiago came on against Sweden in the second half but was unable to help his side break the deadlock as they played out a goalless draw.

On-loan Juventus hitman Alvaro Morata wasted one fine opening in each half.

Spain completed more than 400 passes in a 45 minutes of near total control.

Former Chelsea striker Morata should have turned that potency into a scoreboard lead, but scythed his chance wide with the goal at his mercy.

The Swede’s could have snatched it despite their 15% possession, as Alexander Isak came close to opening the scoring in the first half.

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