Stats & Links: Player Of The Month – March
The Spaniard’s season has been incredible so far, and March was no different from previous months in that respect. Finally free from injuries, Thiago showed all the skills that made Guardiola want to sign him almost as his first act after joining Bayern. All the actions that often worked only partially in past years due to injuries, he’s now able to execute almost automatically, and close to perfection.
In the past month, Thiago once again showed everything that has made him so strong this season.
In offense, Thiago made us jubilant with beautiful openings in build-up play, his turns with his back to defence alone are worth an article on their own. He has also developed a new special skill, a new favourite pass. To have a closer look at that one, let’s look back on the goal to put Bayern 1-0 ahead against Mönchengladbach.
After several horizontal passes in midfield, Hummels gives the ball to Thiago, who is in a half-left position about 40 metres from goal. A brief, explosive sprint, during which the ball seems to be glued to his foot, gives him some space from the opposing player. Thiago then dribbles on for another 15 metres or so, parallel to the edge of the penalty box, only to then play an almost seamless dream pass over all of Gladbach’s defense, right on to Thomas Müller’s foot, who’s run into the box – 1-0. Sometimes, football can be as effortlessly beautiful as that.
Apart from his wonder passes, there’s also the decisive 2-0 in the DFB Pokal against Schalke. On top of that, 10 key passes and 9 dribbles in the Bundesliga alone. All of that makes him the tireless engine at the centre of Bayern’s by now well-oiled attacking machine this season, and in March in particular.
But he’s not just a fine technician. In defense, Thiago won 28 balls in the Bundesliga in March alone. This has led to him having the most interceptions of all players in Europe’s top 5 leagues. 11 of these interceptions came in the aforementioned game against Gladbach – the second-best value in all of the Bundesliga this season.
Bayern Munich’s Magic Man Thiago Alcantara Treading Path to Greatness | Richard Fitzpatrick | Bleacher Report
Bayern Munich Builds Its U.S. Presence, Just Watch | Jack Bell | Empire of Soccer
Juggling Expectations: The Emergence of Soccer Analytics | MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference | YouTube
Bayern are built for European glory, but confidence was undone by Madrid | Raphael Honigstein | ESPN FC
How Not to Beat Real Madrid, Bayern Munich Edition | Ryan Wright | The Ringer
Dortmund left with stark reminder of just how far away Bayern’s world is | Jonathan Harding | DW
Tales from a Red Odyssey: Mighty Munich, Mad Madrid | Risk Joshua | Bayern Central
Preview: From Leverkusen to Madrid | Justin | Bettina
3 Things We Noticed: FC Bayern – Real Madrid 1-2 (1-0) | Christopher | Bettina
Preview: FC Bayern – Real Madrid | Justin | Sam, Bettina, Michael