Thiago Alcantara: 8 things you may not know about Liverpool's imminent arrival

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Liverpool have big ambitions for the season ahead.

Things have gone pretty smoothly for Jurgen Klopp's side over the last year or so with the club winning their first Premier League title in 30 years.

But that doesn't mean that they're planning on easing up.

The Reds have hopes of becoming a dominant force in world football, and so this season will see them looking to put all of the pieces together.

That means domination of England, Europe and the world.

But if Liverpool are to do that then they'll need to strengthen their squad to challenge on all fronts.

No deals have been completed so far this summer, however one move could be getting closer.

Of course we're talking about Thiago Alcantara.

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The Bayern Munich star has just one year remaining on his contract with the German giants, and has already signalled his intentions to move on this summer.

With that in mind it'll be great news for Liverpool fans that David Ornstein of The Athletic has claimed they they've agreed a deal for the player.
Such a signing would be a real coup, but you'd be forgiven for not knowing vast amounts about the player.

Here are 10 things that you may not know about Thiago Alcantara.

He's the perfect footballing mash-up

The nickname of Mr Worldwide might belong to popular music star Pitbull, but Thiago Alcantara could certainly lay claim to the name.

Born in Italy, the midfielder has Brazilian parents and spent several years learning the game in South America.

At the age of 14 Alcantara and his family moved to Spain to start his youth career with Barcelona.

Given that he spent his youth in three of the worlds' biggest football nations, he always stood a decent chance.

Football in his DNA

You only have to look at Thiago Alcantara's family tree to see why a career in football was always likely.

His father, Mazinho, was a World Cup winner with Brazil and enjoyed a successful career in Europe.

He also played alongside cousin Marielo Dos Santos in the Barcelona youth set-up, while his younger brother is none other than current Catalan star Rafinha.

If that wasn't enough the midfielder is also a lifelong friend of new Leeds United signing, Rodrigo.

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South American flair

Despite being a Spain international, Thiago Alcantara has duel nationality with Brazil.

After spending nine years playing in the youth set-up in the South American country, it was always inevitable that he'd develop some of the flair associated with the country.

That included two spells with Brazilian giants Flamengo who played a key part in his development.

His controversial decision to represent Spain

Thiago Alcantara is a key player for the Spanish national team, but it didn't come without a struggle.

After being born in Italy to Brazilian parents, Thiago's footballing father had hoped that he would follow in his footsteps by playing in the gold of Brazil.

But with the bulk of his upbringing happening in Spain, the midfielder decided to stay loyal to the country that gave him so much.

His unlikely friendship with Mario Balotelli

They may not have ever formally crossed paths in their career, but Thiago Alcantara became pals with the controversial Italian star in 2006.

Balotelli spent some time on trial with Barcelona where he met the playmaker, and they instantly hit it off.

He even described Thiago as 'the greatest' following his Spain debut.

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Surrounded by greatness

After starting his professional career with Barcelona, he was always likely to become a top player.

Thiago Alcantara spent plenty of time learning from the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta who completely dominated in that ball-playing midfield role.

He also spent time learning from head coach Pep Guardiola, who taught him a lot before leaving for Bayern Munich.

A close relationship with Pep Guardiola

They are incredibly close, but Thiago Alcantara's former mentor will now be his enemy.

After learning from Guardiola at Barcelona, the Spaniard also brought him to Bayern Munich as a key part of his plan to dominate German football.

With Thiago now heading to Liverpool, it'll be interested to see him facing up to Guardiola's Man City side in the title race.

A natural winner

A big part of Liverpool's interest in Thiago Alcantara will be his proven track record of winning silverware.

The midfielder has won a staggerin 17 major trophies in his career to date, including four La Liga titles, seven Bundesliga titles, two Champions League titles, two Copa Del Rey cups and two Spanish Super Cups.

Given Liverpool's ambitions, this record will go down very well.

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