Original article can be found @ Sports Illustrated
Author: Sid Lowe
Date: 18 November 2010
The Brazilian World Cup winner Mazinho, a member of the 1994 squad that was victorious in the United States, called him “complete.” According to the former Vasco de Gama, Fiorentina, Valencia and Celta de Vigo player, “he can use both feet, takes people on, has vision, can join the attack, and can finish off chances, scoring goals.” Then again, Mazinho would say that. After all, Mazinho is his dad.
But Mazinho is not alone in talking up Thiago Alcántara. Many call him the “pearl” of Barcelona’s youth setup, a “successor” to Xavi Hernández and Andres Iniesta — with a touch of Ronaldinho thrown in. His coach at U-21 level calls him “technically gifted,” while the man who first worked with him as a 13-year-old at Barcelona calls him “the purest exponent of skill on the ball.” Santiago Segurola called him “a virtuoso” in Marca. And writing in El País, Ramón Besa called him “exquisite.” As for Barcelona, they just need to call him. Soon. Continue reading »