Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara insists he “100 per cent” made the right choice moving to Anfield and is fully committed to the club despite being linked with a return to Barcelona.
Reports in Spain have claimed the Catalans’ new coach Xavi wants to bring his former team-mate back to the Nou Camp.
Thiago has had a difficult start to his first 18 months in England after contracting Covid-19 shortly after arriving and then being ruled out for almost three months with a knee injury sustained in his first Merseyside derby.
A calf problem has only just seen him return from another two-month absence and while all those interruptions have meant he has yet to show his best form for Jurgen Klopp’s side, the 30-year-old has no doubts over his decision to leave Bayern Munich in a £20million deal.
“One hundred per cent I made the right choice, the right move,” he said.
“You never know because the injuries make you stop your frequency to play, to know much more of how your team performs on the pitch.
“You can watch your football every time and the theory is awesome but the practice is even better.
“I hate that me and my team-mates got injured but it’s part of our job and part of life. When we are fit we have to have as high performances as we can.”
On those links with a return to Barcelona he added: “As I always have been, I am a guy who plays football. I am not concerned about the rumours.
“I’m focused on the duty I have with my team and the years I have in contract with my team.
“I just want to know about this new adventure that I have here in the Premier League and to try to win all the trophies I can and my commitment is much more with this team.”
Thiago’s world-class playmaking abilities were hailed as being the game-changer which would take Liverpool to the next level but that has, so far, not emerged.
But the Spain international is determined to persevere and succeed in England.
Asked why he moved to Liverpool, he added: “Because I wanted to win and go away from my comfort area and try new things.
“It’s football, it’s about learning. With my experience and knowledge in football I can be better learning new things, so why not? At the end, I want to win.
“That’s the biggest thing I have in my mind, I want to be dominant in a game. Why not here with Jurgen and these team-mates?”
Thiago is one of the few players to have benefited from being coached by both Klopp and Pep Guardiola.
“You can see the difference between Jurgen and Pep,” he said ahead of the Champions League dead rubber at home to Porto.
“They both have the same charismatic character and have a group in their hands, they know what to do to make them perform better and to help them in difficult situations.
“The similarities are there and the differences you can see how the teams play. One has more possession and one has wildness with control, at the same point.
“It’s great, both are doing what they want in the greatest way football can bring.”