InterviewThiago: I've never had a month like our April - it's so exciting
Liverpool's April represents one of the most exciting months of Thiago Alcantara's glittering career.
The upcoming month’s fixture list features eight crucial matches across three competitions as the Reds resume their bid to add the Premier League, Champions League and Emirates FA Cup trophies to the Carabao Cup they won in February.
A serial champion with previous clubs Bayern Munich and Barcelona, Thiago is no stranger to run-ins during which silverware is on the line – and the playmaker is relishing the challenges ahead.
“The other day I was talking with some friends about it and I never had, in the years that I have been involved in football, I never had a month so exciting like this with such important and exciting matches every three days. So it will be amazing,” he told Liverpoolfc.com.
“Well, it’s not the most exciting month of my career [but] for sure it is exciting because you are competing against the best, in the best competitions as well, but also because it reminds you that we are in finals.
“It looks like a World Cup, a European Cup, where every game is a final. With that we are in a one-mission mood and we are there.”
We sat down with Thiago at the AXA Training Centre ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Watford – read the rest of the interview below…
Thiago, welcome back. Did you enjoy the chance to rest and relax a bit during the break after what was a very intense few months?
Sure. You can never be disconnected from football because in the end it is your life, part of your life, but you can also rest because the Premier League is very intense. The Champions League is very intense in terms of the emotion of the people at night so it was good, this week off, to charge the batteries and be ready for this amazing two months that we have ahead.
Is it nice to be back here with your teammates and the staff, though?
Sure, in the end we are like children! We are missing to play football, to compete as well and to be involved with all the guys here.
You just mentioned that you are recharged, so do you feel ready to go again ahead of the final weeks of the season?
Sure. Even if we don’t have the break, we are ready to go. I think we are ready for all the challenges we have ahead and we just focus on the next game that we have. We always be like that and we will be like that, so we have just in our head now Watford and that’s it.
You’ve already won one trophy this season and there is so much at stake in the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup. Is it a case of trying to enjoy this position you’re in?
Sure, I think the Carabao Cup gave us much more confidence than we had before. We had high stakes to win the final, we won it and the guys were incredibly happy and confident as well with the performance, with the whole tournament that we made. But also it is important to arrive in this moment of the season and be ready for the finals that we have.
This is why you work so hard throughout pre-season and the season itself isn’t it: to get to this stage of the season with still so much to play for?
Yeah, it’s important. It’s important for us at this level, with this club, with these players we have, to have the chance to win all the trophies possible, which we have now. We are very happy to be in that position.
The next game is always the most important one – and that is against Watford on Saturday. They are fighting to stay in the Premier League, so what kind of match are you expecting?
A Premier League game: intense, it will be always a fight but in the end we play at home and we have the crowd with us, we have the players focused on their duty as well and we also have a big challenge that is ready for the Premier League title.
The reverse fixture: Watford 0-5 Liverpool
You play before Manchester City this weekend so you have the chance to go top of the table, temporarily at least. Would that change the dynamic in the title race at all?
No, I don’t think so. I don’t think to see us on top before City plays would be a boost. No, it’s just that we are in a moment where every three points count and we are really glad to arrive at this position and fight and depend on us.
It’s been nearly a month since Liverpool’s last home game. It’s an early kick-off on Saturday, but how important is it for you that the fans make it another special atmosphere at Anfield?
Yeah, it’s very special. Anfield is very special because of the crowd, because of the Kop as well, the people who are involved in our game. But also even if it is a month since the last game, it feels more because the games were at night and children were not at the stadium. For us, it is another energy boost when we see children there because you were there in that position of them. So the games were at night and you didn’t see the families and the children, you just see adults and everything, so this kind of mix is important for us. So, 12.30, the time will be really good for us.