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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Thiago rebuffs talk of move back to Barcelona, saying he aims to win more trophies with Liverpool

Thiago, however, insists he does not intend to break his ties with Liverpool in the near future. “As I always have been, I am a guy who plays football. I am not concerned about the rumours,” said Thiago. “I’m focused on the duty I have with my team and the years I have in contract with my team. I just want to know about this new adventure that I have here in the Premier League and to try to win all the trophies I can. My commitment is with this team.

“One hundred per cent I made the right choice, the right move. I wanted to win and go away from my comfort area and try new things and a great, different football with the team-mates I have here and Jürgen’s football. Football’s about learning. With my experience and knowledge in football, I can be better by learning new things, so why not? In the end, I want to win. That’s the biggest thing I have in my mind. I want to be dominant in a game. Why not here with Jürgen and these team-mates?”

Thiago was part of the Barça squad which defeated Manchester United in the 2011 Champions League final – widely regarded as the most complete team performance ever seen in such a final – and was pivotal in Bayern Munich’s 2020 victory. He feels a similar vibe at Liverpool.

“I have had the luck to play with brilliant football players in brilliant teams,” said Thiago. “We were dominant in both teams at Bayern and Barcelona, and it happened a little bit the same here with Liverpool.

“With Liverpool, I came here to a team that had already won a lot of things, but they aim to win more. I came into a mature team already walking the road, and also they want to make a longer path with this team. It is the same kind of hunger and competitive spirit as the teams I had before.”

Thiago is also among those players who has had the pleasure to play under the two greatest coaches of their generation – Guardiola and Klopp.

“They both have the same charisma and have the group in their hands,” said Thiago. “They know what to do to make them perform better and to help them in difficult situations. The similarities are there and the differences you can see how the teams play. One has more possession and one has wildness with control, at the same point. It’s great, both are doing what they want in the greatest way football can bring.”

Klopp, meanwhile, says he will strike the ‘right balance’ in his team selection against Porto on Wednesday night. Liverpool are already through as group winners, but Klopp’s choices are limited due to several injuries.

“We always respect the competition but we have to think about ourselves and our schedule and the situation of our players first,” said Klopp, who will give late fitness tests to Jordan Henderson and Andrew Robertson.

Team details (possible)

Liverpool (4-3-3): Alisson; N. Williams, Konaté, Phillips, Tsimikas; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Thiago, Morton; Salah, Origi, Minamino.
Porto (4-4-2): Costa; Mario, Mbemba, Pepe, Zaidu; Uribe, Grujic; Otavio, Oliveira, Diaz; Taremi.

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