Borussia Monchengladbach hosted The Telekom Cup is under way in Germany; a friendly tournament between four of the biggest names in the Bundesliga.
The hosts beat Borussia Dortmund 1-0 in the other semi-final however there was far more attention as Bayern Munich took on Hamburg SV.
Because the game marked the debut of Bayern Munich’s most recent signing Thiago Alcantara.
For most of the summer it appeared the Barcelona man was on his way to the Premier League; in fact on numerous occasions many outlets reported a done deal.
After starring at the European Under-21 Championships for Spain it was a deal that had United fans excited; and with his release clause price-tag of just €18 million the idea of his bargain signing was increasingly exciting.
But one spectre always loomed; Bayern Munich.
The club now managed by his former boss Pep Guardiola were always going to be heavily linked with his signature but when it happened it was swift.
Guardiola said he wanted him and days later he was a Bayern Munich player; no faff, no ceremony just your clichéd German efficiency and last season’s best team in Europe just got even better.
And the game against Hamburg, as you have probably guessed by now, was Thiago’s debut for the club.
Bayern were, predictably, rampant; banging in four goals in a comfortable thrashing.
Jerome Boateng, Frank Ribery, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller grabbed the goals but Thiago, playing in a reserved holding role, was the star of the show.
German media has raved about his performance ever since…
Bavaria has a new superstar. Thiago fantastico - now we know why Pep wanted only him! And a great player. That could see everyone yesterday. Madness, which he delivered! With Thiago Bayern are even better, even more dangerous, more calculated.
And that summed up what most thought about his performance. Playing in the role usually adopted by Bastian Schweinsteiger he looked the part and more in a romp of a victory for the Bavarian’s as they gave us all a glimpse of next season; and it was ominous.
Here are the highlights from the game…
image: © castroquini2011