Thiago Alcantara reveals why he snubbed Manchester United for Bayern Munich

The youngster has completed his move away from Barcelona

Simon Rice
Wednesday 17 July 2013 12:18
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Thiago Alcantara with Pep Guardiola
Thiago Alcantara with Pep Guardiola

Bayern Munich's latest signing Thiago Alcantara has revealed why he joined the Champions League winners over Manchester United.

The Spain Under-21 captain has been among David Moyes' top targets this summer, but with a move looking likely, Bayern swooped in to clinch his signature for 20million Euros.

Just prior to the move, former Barcelona manager and current Bayern boss Pep Guardiola spoke to the media about his admiration for the player.

And it would seem it was Guardiola's influence that swung the deal in favour of the German club.

"I played under him in the (Barcelona) youth team and I've got him to thank for everything that I have achieved so far," he said in Munich.

"I never had a coach like him. He's unique.

"After the European Under-21 Championship, I spoke with Guardiola on the phone and, after that, I decided to come to Bayern.

"I discussed last season and the upcoming season with the club. I wanted a new challenge."

Thiago joins Mario Gotze as one of two new faces expected to strengthen a Bayern side which won everything last season.

"I think it's fantastic," said Bayern's chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge at the player's official presentation.

"The coach now has a big squad to choose from and there is of course a big competition for places.

"We didn't buy him because he knows the Barcelona way, but because he's a gifted footballer."

He has already demonstrated that for both for club and country, scoring a hat-trick in Spain's European Under-21 Championship final victory over Italy earlier this summer, having established himself as a regular in the Blaugrana side before reaching the age of 21.

He is now ready for the next step in his career with Bayern - the only club he could have imagined joining after Barca.

"It's a special city with a particular flair," he said. "There's a real passion for football in the city.

"There are few teams as strong as Bayern and Barcelona. This is a fantastic side. I don't want to mention any names in particular, I'm just looking forward to playing with every single one of them."

His first appearance for Bayern could well come against the Catalans next Wednesday in a mouth-watering pre-season friendly at the Allianz Arena.

"I'm fit and ready," said Thiago. "Barcelona have some exceptional players and they've all wished me lots of luck and all the best, but I'm ready to face my former team-mates."

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