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Trophies and talent

Introducing star signing Thiago Alcantara

Thiago Alcantara has already shown off his skills at the Allianz Arena, but it did Bayern little good at the time. Two years ago, in the final of the Audi Cup, the attacking midfielder scored twice as Barcelona defeated Germany's biggest club. Afterwards, then FCB boss Jupp Heynckes predicted that the youngster would become one of the future stars of European football. “He's a fantastic player with huge potential," Karl-Heinz Rummenigge declared on Sunday after Bayern secured the services of Thiago Alcantara do Nascimento for the next four years.

“He's a super, super player," said Pep Guardiola of his number one transfer target, “he can fill three, four or five positions in midfield. I think he'll be good for us." The new FCB coach knows Thiago from his time at Barcelona, when he promoted the then 16-year-old to the Catalans’ reserve team. He also handed Thiago his senior debut two years later.

Boundless quality

Now 22, the player is technically able, good on the ball, an accurate passer, and has a real nose for goal. He hit the headlines a few weeks ago at the U-21 European championship, captaining Spain, scoring a hat-trick in a 4-2 victory over Italy in the final, and coming away with the player of the tournament award. His versatility proved an ace in the Spanish pack, as he played both on the left and the right of a three-man midfield, and also as a false nine in the central attacking area.