Thiago starts with a draw

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The 2018 World Cup did not start for Thiago as he would have liked. On the one hand, the 27-year-old FCB player was on the bench for the start of the game against Portugal in Sochi and he only came on after 70 minutes, and on the other, the match with the Iberian neighbours ended all square in a 3-3 draw. Spain twice came back with goals from Diego Costa in reply to strikes from Cristiano Ronaldo, and even took the lead through Nacho just before the hour. That advantage lasted until just before the final whistle when Ronaldo levelled for the European champions two minutes from time with a brilliant free kick.

Spain have experienced disruption with the change of coach just 48 hours ago. The new man on the touchline, Fernando Hierro (former Real Madrid defender and previously sporting director for the national team), dropped Thiago from the starting XI and replaced him in central midfield with Koke (Atletico Madrid) after the FCB man had started most previous games under Julen Lopetegui. With 20 minutes to go, Thiago came on for Andreas Iniesta and he immediately went in search of the ball and was involved in some good moves. However, he could do nothing to prevent the master stroke from Ronaldo. Spain are back in action on Wednesday 20 June (20.00 CEST) in Kazan against Iran who beat Morocco 1-0 in their opening match.

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