Thiago Alcantara on course for swift return to former club after retirement

  • Thiago announced his retirement at the age of 33
  • Midfielder released by Liverpool at the end of 2023/24
  • Also represented Barcelona & Bayern Munich
Thiago Alcantara could soon have a new job
Thiago Alcantara could soon have a new job / Justin Setterfield/GettyImages

Thiago Alcantara has been tipped to make a swift return to football after announcing his retirement from a 16-year playing career this week.

The former Spain international called time on his playing days at the age of just 33 following his release from Liverpool, having managed just a single appearance during 2023/24 due to injury.

Thiago also spent seven years at Bayern Munich and initially made his name at Barcelona after coming through the fabled La Masia academy. And it is a return to Barcelona that is expected now.

In Spain, Jijantes report that talks are taking place to join Hansi Flick's coaching staff at Camp Nou. The new boss has already brought in three trusted assistants in Marcus Sorg, Toni Tapalovic and Heiko Westermann to complement the existing physical staff, but a space remains for Thiago.

When he confirmed his retirement, Thiago signed off his public statement with "see you soon", suggesting that fans won't be waiting long to find out where he lands.

The role that Thiago could fill at Barca is one of a liaison between Flick and the players. It helps that Thiago speaks German thanks to his time at Munich, while he also played under the 59-year-old himself during Bayern's Champions League-winning season in 2019/20.

Thiago’s departure from Barcelona came as something as a surprise in 2013. He had made 81 appearances across the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons, but wound up joining Bayern to reunite with Pep Guardiola. Manchester United were initially considered favourites to sign him at that stage, although the Old Trafford club seemingly pulled out to pursue other targets instead.

Thiago arrived at Liverpool to much fanfare in 2020 following a £25m transfer, but his time at Anfield – as it was for a lot of his career – was ultimately restricted by injuries.