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Bayern Munich feels like home for Thiago despite being a product of Barcelona & Guardiola

The Spain international came through the ranks at Camp Nou and has benefited from working with top coaches, but he is settled and happy in Germany

Thiago Alcantara sees Bayern Munich as “home” despite being a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy system and regularly being linked with a return to his roots.

The Spain international came through the system in Catalunya before establishing himself as a first-team star.

Fierce competition for places and personal ambition eventually led him to look elsewhere for a new challenge, with Bayern moving to snap him up in the summer of 2013.

The Italy-born playmaker, who spent time in Brazil as a youngster, has bought into Bavarian life during his time in Germany.

Thiago insists that he is thoroughly enjoying his time at the Allianz Arena and continues to plan long-term in his current surroundings.

The 28-year-old midfielder told The Independent: “My son is Bavarian. He was born here, so you do feel some ties and roots here.

“More than an international club, it’s a family club. You can move about easily here, be friends with everyone that works here at Sabenerstrasse. It makes it feel like home.”

Thiago has benefitted from working with some of the finest coaches in the business over the course of his distinguished career, with their tactical nous bringing the best out of him.

Success has been enjoyed in Spain and Germany, but there is an admission that Pep Guardiola remains the finest manager he has played under.

Thiago said of the former Barcelona and Bayern boss, who is now at Manchester City: “Of all the coaches we had here, and Barca, he was the one with the most intensity, most concentration.

“You had the same tension training as playing. You’re attuned to learn and hone your game.

“With other coaches, training sessions can be a bit more light-hearted, but with Pep it’s always concentration.”

Guardiola helped to shape Thiago’s game when he made a senior breakthrough, but he claims to be much more than a product of Pep and the Blaugrana.

He added: “My style is not only because of Barca. There is also the Brazilian idea of a pivot.

“Barca gives you the philosophy to understand the game of Barca. The rest, you pick up along the way.

“For me, there are so many variations in football. It’s not necessarily about controlling the game. It’s about controlling your action.

“It’s that your actions are well-coached, and executed in the best manner possible, against the opposition. That’s control. If it’s a long ball, it has to be in a controlled manner. You dominate a rival through execution. You do every play with the goal in view.

“That, to me, is control – that everything you have trained comes off.”

Thiago is currently readying himself for another outing under the brightest of spotlights, with Bayern set to travel to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday for the first leg of a heavyweight Champions League last-16 encounter with Chelsea.

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