Thiago: I would have stayed at Barcelona under Pep

The Spain international has acknowledged he would still have been at the Catalans if the current Bayern chief were in charge

Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara has admitted he would have stayed at Barcelona had Pep Guardiola remained at the club.

Guardiola left Barcelona in the summer of 2012 to take a year-long sabbatical before taking charge of Bayern in June 2013 and prised Thiago to Munich within months of his arrival at Allianz Arena.

The pair are now preparing to face former club Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals at Camp Nou and Thiago has made it clear things could have been different had Guardiola prolonged his stay at the Catalan side.

“Pep has always had a lot of faith in me, and me in him, so if he was still the coach then yes, I would probably still have been at Barcelona,” Thiago told The Independent.

“But going over the past doesn’t help you with the future and I’m just lucky enough to be here now with him at Bayern.”

The Spaniard will come up against former team-mate Lionel Messi and Thiago has nothing but praise for the Argentina captain.

“He’s playing deeper and he’s scored 38 La Liga goals – you could play him in goal, and he would still score 25 a season.

“He’s out of this world. But while it is fine to recognise that, and have respect for him, when you have him in front of you, you must try to get the ball off him and play yourself.”