The midfielder left Barcelona in 2013 but returns for the first time on Wednesday night looking to knock his former team out of Europe
Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara says he will have “the strongest feelings possible” upon returning to Barcelona but will switch off his emotions for 90 minutes on Wednesday.
The midfielder left the club for the Bavarians in 2013 but faces his former employers for the first time since his exit in the first leg of their Champions League semi-final at Camp Nou.
Thiago’s development has been slowed by a succession of serious knee injuries over the past two seasons, but he has impressed upon returning from a year out of the game.
The 24-year-old scored in both legs of the quarter-final victory over Porto and is now determined to knock his former club out of the competition – regardless of his feelings for the club.
“I will have the strongest feelings you can possible have,” he said to Uefa.com. “But you have to look forward because when the match comes, you have to be 100 per cent focused, so you want to avoid those emotions a bit.
“We want to beat Barcelona and make it to Berlin. Emotions are not welcome, because we want to go to Camp Nou and deliver a good performance and win.”
However, the Italy-born Spain international – who could face his brother Rafinha following his emergence under Barca boss Luis Enrique – praised Barca for helping him develop from boy to man.
“It’s the perfect club for any footballer to develop and to grow, because as everybody knows La Masia can give you stability; they take care of you when you leave home.
“They show you the affection you need when you leave home. You have the chance to study there and it makes you grow as a player and as a person.”