Modern football has less magic and fantasy because it’s taken up difference pace, admits Thiago Alcantara

Thiago Alcantara believes that football has changed and transformed over the years but that has sucked the magic and fantasy out of the game with the game changing rapidly. The Spaniard also confessed his hate for VAR because of the changes it has brought to the game, stop and starts as well.

Football’s changes over the years have been very noticeable with the game shifting, with players becoming more technically adept and physical as a pressing game becomes key for most teams. It has however, seen players like Mesut Ozil, Christian Eriksen, David Silva, Santi Cazorla and a few others struggle to cope although they’ve done well for themselves.

Yet with Thiago recently making the move to Liverpool, many were shocked at the way the Spaniard performs with him a throwback to the old-school generation. It saw the midfielder admit that football has changed with it focusing more on the physical and intensity rather magic and fantasy with players more developed as compared in the past. Thiago also added that the change has been constant over the years and players need to adapt.

“It’s taken up a different pace, rhythm: more accelerated, more physical. The figure of the No 10 has almost disappeared. We see less magic, less fantasy. Footballers do more but faster. There’s no need to dribble because you run,” Thiago told the Guardian.

“Players are more developed in every sense. You lose that player who’s different, who ‘breathes’; the playmaker who was slower even if he had sublime technique doesn’t get the opportunity to turn. Those of us who are not so fast with our legs have to be faster in our heads. It’s like anything in life: adaptation. Things keep moving. Football changes constantly, expressed differently.”

Football has changed again because of the coronavirus pandemic with it forcing coaches, players and teams across the planet to adjust and survive in a new world. That has inculcated a few changes in the way footballers play and Thiago admitted that it has been slightly better although he does “hate modern football”. The Spaniard also admitted his disdain for VAR and the way they’ve spoilt the game since it’s introduction.

“Coaches can communicate with us better, players can communicate with each other more. You lose competitiveness but develop other aspects. Extra substitutions mean teams that defend, defend to the 90th minute; teams that press you, press you to the end. I have that ‘hate modern football’ mentality; I’m more classic in attitude.

“And then there’s VAR, which I’ve always opposed. It removes the essence, the picaresque. We make mistakes when we play, referees have to make mistakes too. Lots of mythical moments wouldn’t exist [with VAR]. And when you score, even a brilliant goal from the halfway line, you’re waiting. Thinking: ‘I hope there isn’t a foul in the buildup, I hope there’s no offside, I hope …’,” he added.

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