Cult Heroes: Remembering Thiago Alcantara's last minute bicycle kick v Stuttgart

It’s that time again football fans, Cult Heroes is back to brighten up your Friday.

So far we’ve reminisced about scarcely believable back-heel assists, a memorable solo goal and a hat-trick scored from a combined distance of six yards.

It’s the little nuances in football that make the game so great and today, we’re going to reminisce and forensically analyse a goal that is the embodiment of the beautiful game.

Step forward, Thiago Alcantara. The Spanish midfield metronome is something of a cult hero in his own right, a player of unprecedented skill that those of us who saw him lead opponents a merry dance will tell tales of in our later years.

Due to the unrivalled brilliance of Xavi and Andres Iniesta, Thiago’s quality has always slipped slightly under the radar.

But make no mistake about it, on his day, the Bayern Munich midfielder is as good as anyone currently playing professional football on this planet.

Such is his talent that Pep Guardiola brought him to Bavaria with him in 2013 during the Spanish manager’s historic first season.

Bayern stormed to the Bundesliga title playing slick, efficient football and one moment from Thiago, during what was an injury interrupted campaign for him, really defined the Guardiola era.

With seconds remaining away at Stuttgart on a bitter cold day in January, 2014, Thiago grabbed a last-minute winner in a way that encapsulates everything about Guardiola’s unique footballing philosophy.

Unbelievably it was his first goal for Bayern.


A bicycle kick with the game on the line?! Outrageous and that’s what Guardiola wants, beauty at the times when mere mortals would cave in and attempt the most simple solution to a problem.

Down the years we’ve had an endless supply of last-gasp winning goals, but few – if any – can hold a candle to Thiago’s masterpiece.

It’s why we all love football. Watching a player stretch both the ability of mind and body to tackle a situation that most of us would dread facing.

But Thiago is one of those rare superstars that thrives under the cloud of pressure.

Watch any of his highlight reels and you’ll see him dribble and escape from corridors of uncertainty with effortless ease.

Like his former Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi, the Spanish enigma makes things happen even in the most improbable circumstances.

Players like that come along sparingly, so make sure you savour every remaining moment Thiago Alcântara do Nascimento’s career.

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