Thiago Alcântara 20 Midfielder Barcelona
Arguably the most exciting - if not the best - player on this list, Thiago Alcântara is gradually beginning to move up through the gears in Catalonia. Called up for duty regularly by Barcelona over the last twelve months and already capped at senior level by Spain, Alcântara’s emergence over the last year has left many observers at the Camp Nou pondering whether a move for Cesc Fábregas was absolutely necessary.
There is a notion that Thiago’s emergence right now could be classed as unfortunate for the player. He is, after all, vying for a place in the world’s most potent engine room with three of the best midfielders on the planet. However we’ve seen enough of the Alcântara to suggest he is more than capable of holding his own in such esteemed company. Let’s not forget Xavi is almost 32 and Iniesta at 27 won’t be around forever, so perhaps the arrival of 24 year old Cesc and the emergence of 20 year old Thiago highlight the seamless continuity that Barca have in place. It’s almost as if they’ve had it all planned……
Outstanding for Spain at the European Under-21 Championships in the summer, Alcântara is developing into the attacking midfielder’s attacking midfielder. Prompting, creating and more than capable of finishing with both feet, the Italian born son of Mazinho encompasses everything that is the identikit La Masia product.
Thiago has looked a class act at every level he has played so far and even his cameo appearances have offered a tingling sense of excitement. The talent and mental fortitude are readily evident and Alcântara seems to have that something about him which suggests a place on the bench will not be enough.
“Without doubt the new sensation of Spanish, if not European, football. After fleeting appearances last season, Thiago burst onto the scene during this summer's European Under 21 Championships and that was followed by a new contract and a call up to the Spanish national side. Thiago's pace, skill, movement and eye for a goal fits perfectly with Barcelona's system and despite the signing of Fabregas and Alexis during the summer, Thiago will play a big role in Guardiola's team this season” - Jamie McGregor (spanishfootball.info)
B The world is yours, take it.