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Liverpool's 31-year-old maestro now set to miss the World Cup

Chris Stonadge

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Liverpool's 31-year-old maestro now set to miss the World Cup

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara ‘looks certain’ to miss the World Cup this winter after being left out of the latest Spain squad for the upcoming international break.

The former Bayern Munich and Barcelona man has never really been a regular in the starting eleven for his country, and has not added to his 46 caps since the European Championships in 2021.

Although the absence may be due to the recent injury sustained by the 31-year-old against Fulham for the Reds, The Athletic has reported that he is very unlikely to join Luis Enrique’s squad in Qatar.

Thiago’s stint on the sidelines has been sorely felt as Liverpool have had a poor start to the season, with their fragilities in midfield exposed without his presence.

The 31-year-old missed a month of football after sustaining a hamstring issue on the opening day of the Premier League season but returned as a second-half substitute as Jurgen Klopp’s side lost to Napoli.

He picked up the player of the match award as his side defeated Ajax 2-1 at Anfield, though, showcasing his true importance and effortless exuberance.

You would subsequently think this would be reflected on the international stage, but he has never been a real staple in the Spanish setup.

He made his debut in 2011 against Italy, but in the 11 years since has only picked up the aforementioned 46 caps.

In fairness, the early squads he was part of included Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Xabi Alonso et al, and now include the youthful exuberance of Barcelona pair Pedri and Gavi.

Thiago did look exceptional in that performance against Ajax and if he does continue that form, Enrique will struggle to ignore it. It could also genuinely be the final chance for Thiago to make a major championship squad as he will be 33 when Euro 2024 comes around.

For Liverpool, however, it would likely be a welcome break and an opportunity for Thiago to utilise the time given to aid his fitness for the remainder of the campaign.

Topics: Liverpool, Thiago Alcantara, Football World Cup, World Cup 2022

Chris Stonadge
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