It’s fair to say that Sebastian Rode isn’t the most talented player at Bayern Munich.
But every successful team needs a set of useful squad players and that’s precisely what the German midfielder is: reliable and willing to work hard for the team when called upon.
Training must be harder than some matches, though, what with the immense talent in the current Bayern Munich squad - and poor old Rode endured a bit of a nightmare when paired up against the skilful Thiago Alcantara this week.
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Rode’s job was to prevent Thiago from scoring, but the 25-year-old was left bamboozled by a magnificent piece of skill from the Spain international.
Just when it looked like Thiago had lost control of the ball, he brilliantly flicked it over Rode’s head before taking a touch on his chest and finishing past the goalkeeper.
Video: Thiago roasts Rode in training
Perhaps the Bayern Munich coaches will put Thiago up against Arturo Vidal or Javi Martinez next time.
Thiago hasn't scored a league goal this season
Thiago has made 19 appearances in the Bundesliga this season but, surprisingly, has failed to score a single goal.
Scoring goals isn’t the 24-year-old’s main job, of course, but a player of his quality really ought to be chipping in with a few every season.
Surprise when he left Barcelona
Pep Guardiola signed Thiago in the summer of 2013 after previously working with the classy midfielder at Barcelona.
Touted as the natural replacement for Xavi, it was a genuine surprise when the La Masia graduate swapped the Camp Nou for the Allianz Arena three years ago.
However, he has become a key player at Bayern and has already won two Bundesliga titles, the German Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Thiago will be hoping to add a UEFA Champions League winners’ medal to his collection this season before Guardiola leaves the club for Manchester City in the summer.
Thiago happy at Bayern - even though Pep is leaving
Shortly after it was announced that Guardiola would be replacing Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad Stadium, rumours surfaced that Thiago could follow.
"If I wanted to leave, I would have not signed a new contract,” Thiago was quoted as saying by ESPN last month, “but if you are up for it, we can play with those rumours day in, day out.”
However, Guardiola was the main reason why Thiago left Barcelona for Bayern Munich in the first place and it will be interesting to see whether the midfielder would be tempted to make the move to Manchester City if Pep was to ask him.
Will Thiago Alcantara end up following Pep Guardiola to Man City? Have your say by leaving a comment below.