Thiago Alcatara, who joined Bayern Munich after spending almost his whole childhood growing up in Barcelona's famed football school La Masia, bid farewell to those he left behind in Spain in an emotional open letter on his Twitter account.

"I leave the house that I spent 14 years at…it was a difficult decision, tough. Eras come to an end and there are changes now ahead," he stated.

"Today I have the same enthusiasm for playing football as when I arrived at Barcelona as a child. And that ambition, enthusiasm and those sporting circumstances have led me to Munich.

"In Barcelona I grew as a player and as a person. It sounds clichéd, and it is what is said in these situations, but it is really the case. I want to thank each and every person at the club. Barca and the people there have given me everything, I have grown, matured and have learned from both good and bad situations.

"Team-mates, technical staff, employees, fans, above all, you, the fans…who are great for this club in victory and defeat. To all of you, thank you for the years. Thanks to those who supported me in the more difficult moments. All of the love I received I will take with me to this new adventure."

The Spanish U21 European champion also showed his support for his former coach, Tito Vilanova, who stepped down from his post last Friday due to his illness.

"And you, Tito, a fighter…as we told Abi (Eric Abidal): 'Stones in the road? Keep them all, one day you will build a castle'. No doubt you will continue to move forward.

"A grateful hug and long live Barca!"

The 22-year-old midfielder was seemingly on his way to join last season's English Premier League champions Manchester United before he changed his mind to join Bundesliga champions Bayern to link up with his former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.


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