Former Liverpool and Spain U17 starlet Gerardo Bruna, now playing for Derry City in the League of Ireland Premier Division, has revealed what Thiago Alcantara was like as a teenager.
The duo played together at a very young level of international football for La Roja, when the former Bayern Munich star was just 13 or 14 years old.
Speaking exclusively to the Echo’s Matt Addison, the Argentine-Spaniard detailed what Thiago was like as a very young teenager cutting his teeth in Spain.
“The first time I was playing with Thiago we were about 13 or 14 I think,” he said.
“He was living in Galicia at the time in the north-west of Spain, and he didn’t play for Barcelona – he was playing for a club in a small town.
“You couldn’t tell he was going to be one of the best players [in the world] but he was a very, very good player. Since then, you could see already what a great player he was.
“We played against each other in Barca-Madrid but the first time that we actually met was in the national team and it is a long time ago.
“Now he plays deeper as a play-maker, but at the time he was an attacking midfielder; you can see how good he is at dribbling with the ball and how technical he is.
“Now he is complete – you can see him tackling, you can see him making the team play and setting the pace of the team, and his awareness.
“He has become a complete midfielder and before he was more offensive. Now [he] is more complete and he is doing so well.”
As Bruna points out, Thiago has blossomed into one of the most complete midfielders in world football at the moment, and we couldn’t be happier he’s ours.
The Spain international adds an extra layer of dynamism and unpredictability to Jurgen Klopp’s midfield, which has looked one dimensional at times.
Thiago has only played 45 minutes for the Reds so far, but his impact was immediately realised, turning the heat on Chelsea before helping his new team to a 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.