Thiago Alcantara’s admission he likes to bring “beauty” to football will be warmly welcomed by fans who have been waiting to see the Liverpool midfielder’s true form.
The Spain international has endured a difficult 14 months at Anfield, with Covid, a knee injury last season and calf problem this campaign meaning he has been unavailable for 138 days and missed 31 of the club’s 70 matches since arriving from Bayern Munich.
Consequently the time taken to recover from those absences has impacted the 30-year-old’s ability to reach his best performance but in recent weeks he has been on an upward curve and his sumptuous goal in the 2-0 Champions League victory over Porto exemplified the quality he has at his disposal.
What Thiago now needs is a lengthy, uninterrupted run in the side for him to deliver on the expectation supporters had for him following his £20milllion move.
“I am really glad that the action was the beauty that I like to bring in football. I am happy for it,” the midfielder said of his goal.
“I try to give my best for the team, I want to play for them and be available for the team in all phases of football.
“In the end it’s about rhythm and having games in a sequence and build up the physicality to play with the team.
“For sure the goal is a detail of the game – also Mo’s (Salah) was an incredible goal – but it felt better to win the game, to get the three points and see the team is still hungry even though we were already qualified for the next stage.
“The games are special against big teams and the small details make the difference.
“A couple of details we had during the game were the two goals and we were more efficient than them in the last quarter of the pitch.”
While those present at Anfield got to see Thiago’s world-class talent up close, they also witnessed the emergence of the next product off the academy production line.
The 19-year-old Tyler Morton made his Champions League debut just fours days after his first Premier League appearance for the club he joined as a seven-year-old.
“You know that he has this inner talent that makes him different with his age,” added Thiago.
“He has a long path, everybody knows that it is very difficult to arrive to this level of football but the path will be easier for him because of his talent and also his intelligence – not just during the game, but watching it.
“He will have an unbelievable future here, I think, in this club.”
Morton lined up in central midfield with Thiago and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain either side of him and was grateful for their support.
“The two were quality with me, to be honest. I can’t speak more highly of them,” he told liverpoolfc.com.
“It’s not easy having a 19-year-old lad coming in and playing with them, especially behind them, and trusting him.
“I felt I got a lot of trust off both of them and I was really happy with that. The way they speak to me is improving me every day and yeah, I’m really happy.”