Thiago re-ups ’til 2015: I credit Rosell, do not spontaneously combust

Hug it out

This morning, Twitter was abuzz with the fact that Thiago Alacantara has signed a new agreement to stay with FC Barcelona through 2015 with his buyout requirement being raised to a rather healthy 90m Euros. This caps off a rather eventful few weeks for the MF wunderkind: he played a pivotal role in Spain’s U-21 Euro win, scoring a goal in the Final; he recently made a number of ill-timed and grossly over-read-into quotes to the media regarding his status with Barcelona due to the Cesc negotiations, which are ongoing at all times, even if you think there is a break); and is now recovering from nasal surgery to repair a deviated septum (this obviously means he had a nose job).

Thiago has just turned 20 and is legitimately considered the best youth product for the club and one of the best under-21s in the world. He will be expected to play a lot more for the parent club next year, filling in for Xavi/Iniesta, giving them breaks, and hopefully making his break. Now before you ask, we have no idea how this will affect the pursuit/lackthereof of Cesc Fabregas. Currently, Thiago’s father, former Brazilian world champion, Mazinho is saying all the right things as reported on Twitter, that he’s not worried about Cesc possibly coming in because they play different positions. It may still be possible, I am not sure.

However, this brings up one tiny fact that a lot of people are overlooking: Sandro Rosell is damn good at doing businessperson. Please note this giant, huge, Puyol’s-hair-sized warning: I do not endorse him as a good person, I think he’s xenophobia regarding outsiders among Barça socios and ideas about Catalan independence are wrong. Remember this when you misquote me on your witch hunts. Let’s go through his business decisions:

-Signing Afellay for 3m
-Signing Adriano for about 9.5m
-Signing Mascherano for 19m
-Signing Villa for 40m (Ed. note: This was a Laporta signing according to Isaiah)
-1 starter, 1 spot starter/fill-in at CB, 2 for depth
-Loan of Ibrahimovic, with sale-option this year: Pep said he had to go and we had limited buyers, did the best with a bad situation
-Toure to Man City for 24m: Yaya wanted to go, his agent made that clear, he made that clear
-Gaining the highest shirt sponsorship deal in the world: not arguing the merits, just the business, good deal.

Granted, this does not include the Chygy debacle, which I stated my opposition to at the time, and which Pep was not fond of, but I think the rest speaks for itself. Not all of these deals were popular, but they were all helpful for either goals, depth, or behind-the-scenes issues that we don’t all know about. Also, the commentary about how he’s handled deals this summer isn’t useful yet, since we do not know how they will come out or what the actual parameters are, since it’s all being reported by third-party rags.

Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images Europe

By Luke

We calls 'em likes we sees 'em.


  1. From barcastuff:

    Poll result: “You like the renewal of Thiago?” Yes 97% – No 3% #fcblive [md]

    I have to wonder who on earth the 3% are???

    1. I have to wonder who on earth the 3% are???

      Yeah, it’s like the commercials where they say 9 out of 10 doctors recommend… And you’re thinking, “dang, that 10th doctor must really be an imbecile”

    2. The 3% arsenal fans who think this now means, because his buyout is 90m, that we think he’s worth more than Cesc.

  2. Okay I keep reading Cesc is the Xavi role heir, no thiago! no busi!!!

    Can we all get one thing straight? Xavi role is called the Xavi role. Makelele role is the Makelele role. Roles are named after players for a reason, and NO ONE will ever be able to clone what they mean to that role.

    Tactics evolve people. After Xavi retires, no one will be in the Xavi role. It might even be obsolete, and whoever was apparently groomed there will have different duties, role, etc.

    1. AMEN, preach it bro!

      There will never be another Xavi and we should be thankful we are around to be seeing him and the way Barca is with him (I could say the same for other team members as well). This is special. This can’t be exactly duplicated again. Enjoy it while we got it!

    2. I agree. Guardiola probably has something in mind… That’s why he wants Fabregas. A new, different system…

  3. Count me in as someone who aint convinced by this fuzz over the ‘xavi role’.
    If this is some kinda attempt to further idolize an already ‘legend bound’ player then its unnecessary Imo.

    Hes a deep lying playmaker that specializes in tiki taka.

    He will be remembered folks so no need to make up stuff……. Or what say ye?

  4. Does this “upgraded” contract renewal mean that Thiago is officially a first team player, or will he continue to play for the B team and get called up on occasion (only moreso than before)? Half a year ago I understood that he was to be upgraded this summer but everything coming out of Barcelona is a bit ambiguous about this. When Fontas was upgraded, there were a slew of official announcements and he was added to the first team roster page on

    1. He is officially a first team player. It was announced back in January that he would be promoted at the end of last season. No need to announce it again.

    2. I don’t know. If the announcement back in January was *the* official announcement, why don’t any of the reports from Barcelona, or for that matter news articles, mention that this contract renewal supplements an existing agreement that he will be playing first team football next season? The fact that they haven’t done so is suspicious to me. He also still wears #30, when there are and will be lower numbers available. I’m thinking that there might be another announcement down the road…

    3. He wasn’t officially promoted until the season ended, hence the high number. He will probably wear a different number this year.

    1. I can never get bored of watching Messi. What can I say. I can only imagine what it is like to watch him play in person, or share the playing field with him.

  5. Speaking of shirt numbers, the most important question is, does Sanchez get the 9 (assuming Bojan to Roma is a done deal)? And if so, does this doom him to failure? Or will he take Jeffren’s possibly available 11?

    Aside from that we have the 12 available, and the 4, which is clearly Fabregas’ birthright and will burn anyone else who dares to wear it.

    Does Thiago snatch up the 12 or stick to his 30? Or does he modestly take a number in the 23-25 region?

    1. 19. He has to take the 19.

      Messi had the 30 before, then switch to the 19, and finally, the 10. Thiago must do the same. #yes.

    2. The ’11’ seems more suited to Sanchez. Saying that Pedro may possibly get a lower number than 17.
      I’d like if Montoya got promoted then he would probably take the 12.
      Thiago might get something like 18 from Milito who I assume will be shipped off somewhere.

      It is strange that we haven’t sold a few players.

    3. Busi should get the 4 but won’t.

      P!! should upgrade to the 11! He knows to avoid the 9.

      Sanchez will get the 9, doesn’t know to avoid it. Maybe he can handle it.

      Cesc should get Busi’s 16, seniority should count for something,but will probably get the 4.

  6. There are rumours that Clichy and Nasri are both off to Shitty, take Cesc and Arsenal may loose 3 of their most important players. When I started to follow the EPL they were my favourite team, we had some relation ship problems during the two last seasons during our CL encounters but I always cheered them on in the EPL. I know that Wenger can be a moron but he also did bring some much needed innovation to this island and this whole development makes me really sad it is like he is deserted by everybody. I really hope that he invests this money wisely and they come back stronger than ever.

  7. Sid Lowe’s recent column on has a nice discussion of the issues that have been discussed above and in previous posts. I particularly like how he shows the age progressions of our mid-fielders and how it highlights a long term strategy by Guariola.

    Although this comment is a priori hectored, I think it belongs here in this post. Hopefully some of you will see it.

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