Xabi Alonso has revealed how he helped convince Thiago Alcantara to join Liverpool.
Alonso and Thiago were Spain team-mates and also shared a dressing room for many years at Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
Thiago ended his seven-year association with Bayern in 2020, securing a move to Anfield where he has won the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.
A number of clubs expressed interest in signing Thiago as his Bayern Munich contract ran down and the midfielder spoke to Alonso about a possible move to Liverpool.
Alonso spent five years at Anfield and starred in the club’s memorable Champions League win in 2005.
Asked if he spoke to Thiago before his move to Anfield, Alonso told Liverpool’s official website: ‘We talked a lot that summer because he was thinking about the option.
‘I said, “Thiago, you love football, you’re in a great club, you’re in Bayern and you’ve achieved great things, but Liverpool is pure football and you’re going to enjoy it as much as you have done.
“If you feel it’s the right moment for a new chapter, you won’t get better places than Liverpool.”
‘Once a Red, always a Red – it’s not a logo, I think it’s a reality. Not just my case, I think that most of us feel really close to the club.
‘Wherever you are in the world, Liverpool fans remember you and they keep you closer to the club. That’s the best thing of Liverpool – all the support and all the family that’s around the world.’
On Thiago’s unique talents, Alonso added: ‘You could see that he’s a different player. He’s a different talent because he’s competitive but at the same time he has those magic Brazilian actions that are not that European.
‘He’s competitive but he can do different things. He was a great player at Bayern and he continues being consistent and being a great player at Liverpool.’
Alonso also heaped praise on Jurgen Klopp, who has won multiple trophies as Liverpool manager.
‘I loved my games against his Dortmund when I was in Madrid and Bayern,’ Alonso said. ‘You could see that he was special.
‘I remember when he signed for Liverpool, straight away I had the feeling that he was the man.
‘We were playing Liverpool-Mainz at Mainz [in a pre-season friendly in 2006] and in the programme he mentioned that his favourite stadium was Anfield. That was on my mind.
‘When he signed for Liverpool, I [was like], “He’s always had that in his mind and he’s the right man for the job.”
‘After that, what he’s done, it’s a treasure what we have in Liverpool, what Jurgen built and the inspiration for the players, for the club, for the fans, for everyone.’
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