Spanish central midfielder Thiago Alcantara currently plays for the German Bundesliga club FC Bayern Munich besides appearing regularly for the Spanish national squad. He started his football journey with the youth academy of Brazilian club Flamengo at the age of just 4. And after spending times with several clubs like Ureca and Kelme, he joined the ‘La Masia’ youth academy of Barcelona at the age of just 14. He then made a steady progression and debuted for the Catalan side in 2009. After spending 4 seasons with the club, he moved to Bayern Munich in 2013.
During his Barcelona career, he helped the club to win several trophies such as La Liga and UEFA Champions League. After moving to Germany, he achieved the Bundesliga title several times with Bayern. Besides club football, he also made regular appearances for the Spanish U-19 and U-21 sides. He then made his senior international debut in 11. Alcantara earned his place in the 23-man Spanish squad for 2014 FIFA World Cup but later sidelined due to his knee injury. His first big break in the international circuit came at the UEFA Euro 2016. Undoubtedly, he is among the best midfielders of Spain currently in action.
He joined the youth academy of Brazilian club Flamengo in 1995. In 1996, he moved to Spain with his father and started playing for the youth team of Galician side Ureca. He then joined the youth system of Kelme CF in 2000 at the age of just 9. Shortly after, he came back to Brazil and joined his former academy of Flamengo. Alcantara made a steady progression at the club and spent 4 seasons sharpening his skills. Finally, after his second return to Spain, he joined the ‘La Masia’ Youth Academy system of Barcelona in 2005 at the age of just 14. He promoted through several age groups before making his senior debut for the Barcelona reserve team in 2008.
Alcantara made his debut for the Barcelona first-team against RCD Mallorca on 17th May 2009, at the age of just 18. He then scored his first goal for the Catalan side against Racing de Santander on 20th February 2010. He made a total of 17 appearances for Barcelona in season 2010-11 while scoring three times with another three assists. Alcantara participated in the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final against Manchester United on 28th May 2011 at the Wembley Stadium but remained as an unused substitute.
The following season, he made his El Clasico debut in a 2011-12 Spanish Supercopa match against Real Madrid. He then went on to score his first La Liga goal for Barcelona against Villarreal CF on 29th August 2011. Alcantara then helped Barca to achieve the FIFA Club World Cup trophy defeating Neymar’s Santos at International Stadium Yokohama on 18th December 2011. During his career at Barcelona from 2009 to 2013, he scored 7 goals in 68 appearances.
Alcantara signed a four-year contract with Bundesliga club Bayern Munich on 14th July 2013. According to media reports, his transfer fee was €25 million that time. As an interesting fact, he signed a new contract with Barcelona in 2011 having a buy-out clause of €90 million. But after the Catalan side failed to fulfil clauses in the contract regarding the playing time of Alcantara, the buy-out clause was reduced to €18 million in 2013. Shortly after the signing, he made his debut for Bayern in the DFL-Supercup match against Borussia Dortmund on 27th July 2013. He then went on to make his Bundesliga debut against Eintracht Frankfurt on 11th August 2013.
Alcantara scored his first goal for the club in the 2013 FIFA Club World Cup Final against Moroccan club Raja Casablanca on 21st December 2013. He then scored his first Bundesliga goal against VfB Stuttgart on 29th January 2014. He later received the Goal of the Month award for that awesome strike. Shortly after, Alcantara made a record for 185 touches in a single Bundesliga match against Eintracht Frankfurt on 2nd February 2014. A month later, he suffered a horrific knee ligament tear in a match against 1899 Hoffenheim on 29th March 2014. He spent almost a year outside the ground due to that injury and missed almost the full 2014-15 season.
Alcantara made his comeback after his recovery in a Bundesliga match against Borussia Dortmund on 4th April 2015. In his second stint, he scored his first comeback goal in the DFB-Pokal quarter-final match against Bayer Leverkusen on 8th April 2015. After a successive start in the 2015-16 season, Alcantara signed a four-year contract extension with Bayern Munich on 27th August 2015.
Alcantara helped the Spanish side to achieve the 2008 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship title while scoring the winning goal in the final. He then helped the U-21 side to become victorious at the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. He scored the winning goal in the final against Switzerland and received the man of the match award. Two seasons later, Alcantara again helped the squad to achieve the 2013 edition of UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. He scored a marvellous hat-trick in the final against Italy on 18th June 2013.
Alcantara made his senior debut for the Spanish team in a friendly match against Italy on 10th August 2011. He then went on to make his competitive debut in a Euro 2012 qualifying match against Liechtenstein on 6th September 2011. He earned his place in the provisional squad of Spain for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But he was later withdrawn due to his knee injury that he got while playing for Bayern Munich. After his recovery, he earned his call-up for the Spanish squad under one of the most successful football managers Vicente del Bosque on 2nd October 2015. Alcantara then started in the UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match against Ukraine on 12th October 2015. He scored his first international goal in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Albania on 6th October 2017.
Born in San Pietro Vernotico, Italy, to his parents Mazinho and Valéria Alcântara, Thiago is of Brazilian descent through his father’s side. His father Mazinho is a former Brazilian international and helped his nation to win the FIFA World Cup in 1994. After his retirement from professional football, Mazinho also managed the Greek club Aris. His mother Valéria was also a professional athlete and played volleyball in her active career. His younger brother Rafinha is also a professional footballer and currently plays for Serie A side Inter Milan. Alcantara met and fall in love with Dutch model Júlia Vigas during his early career in Bayern Munich. The couple married in Sant Climent de Peralta, Catalonia, Spain, on 27th June 2015. Their first son Gabriel Alcântara was born on 3rd May 2017.
The current net worth of Thiago Alcantara is estimated to be around €19.5 Million as of 2018. His current market value is of €60 Million as of the ongoing season. He currently earns €112,000 weekly wage from his Bundesliga club Bayern Munich. Alcantara also made his fortune through the sponsorship deal with Nike besides his footballing income. He current wears the Nike Hypervenom Phantom III DF FG since 28th March 2018.
With Barcelona, Alcantara won the La Liga title 4 times and the Supercopa de España twice. He also won the Copa del Rey in the 2011-12 season. Besides, he achieved UEFA Champions League title, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup with Barcelona in 2011. With Bayern Munich, he won the Bundesliga title 5 times as of now and won the DFB-Pokal twice. He also achieved the FIFA Club World Cup with Bayern in 2013, and the DFL-Supercup in 2016. Besides his club success, Alcantara also received several individual awards till now. Some of the most notable awards that he received are as follows: