Report: If the beginning of the season was any indication, when Thiago failed to even make the bench for the first three games, it was going the a difficult season playing time-wise for the young midfielder. Thiago went on the appear in the next three matches, but was then undone by a severe knee injury. Thiago tore the medial ligaments in his right knee that sidelined him for a couple days less than two months, forcing him to miss eleven games.
After returning from the injury Thiago was mostly making late substitute appearances. He started featuring more regularly in the starting lineup in February, the same time that Xavi was struggling with injuries. But once Xavi recovered and Barcelona were knocked out of the Champions League and the Copa del Rey Thiago was once again relegated to bench duties.
Thiago might not have been at Xavi's level when he played (who is?), but he was darn good at orchestrating Barcelona's attacks. Completing passes at nearly 92% he was great at distributing the ball, often not shying away from a riskier play that would quickly lead to a goal for his team. But Thiago's contributions weren't limited to the attacking side of the ball as he proved he's a good defender as well. He showed he can make strong tackles when necessary, but he preferred to rely on good positioning to simply intercept the ball.
Even though Thiago previously found himself on Vicente del Bosque's radar that did not happen this season. The midfielder was limited to action with the Spain U-21 side where he really shined. Making six appearances for La Rojita, usually playing as an offensively oriented midfielder, Thiago scored three goals and added an assist. He was named the MVP of the 2013 U-21 European Championship as he led his team to consecutive European titles.
Moment of the season: Even though Thiago's playing time was limited he on numerous occasions showed why he's regarded as one of the most promising midfielders in the world. His talents were on full display in April when Barcelona defeated Real Zaragoza when Thiago assisted on two goals and scored one himself. All that while also helping his team with four tackles, two interceptions and two clearances.
Resumen de Real Zaragoza (0-3) FC Barcelona - HD (via La Liga)
But because this will be the last time I get to review Thiago, at least for the foreseeable future, I'll also share his moment of the season of the international variety. In the U-21 European Championship Final against Italy Thiago scored a perfect hat-trick and was named Man of the Match.
Italy (U-21) 2:4 Spain (U-21).All the goals.Highlights.(18.06.13) 720 HD! (via faster2k14)
|Started on the Bench
|Shots on Goal
|BB Community Rating*||6.52|
*BB Community Rating represents the average rating (out of 10) Barca Blaugranes community members gave to the player for his performances throughout the season
Record with Thiago in the starting lineup: 15-4-1
2013-14 Outlook: This part is difficult to write... Thiago moved on from FC Barcelona to join FC Bayern Munich and reunite with his former coach Pep Guardiola. The midfield at the Bavarian club was crowded even before Thiago joined so the young man will have to impress to get consistent playing time in Germany, something he undoubtedly is capable of doing. Good luck, Thiago (just not against Barcelona).
Next Up: Lionel Messi