Thiago Alcantara was brilliant for Bayern Munich, when he could stay on the field

Alex Grimm

While he had several fantastic moments in a Bayern Munich shirt, Thiago Alcantara's first season will be known for his injuries.

When you look at Thiago Alcantara's season, one phrase, more then any other defines his season: Catastrophic Injury.

Juxtaposed to players like Franck Ribery or Xherdan Shaqiri who struggled with repetitive small injuries, Thiago Alcantara went down hard for long stretches of the season. After a much publicized, seemingly excessive, €24M transfer from FC Barcelona, Thiago Alcantara spent much of the Hinründe on the shelf after an early syndesmosis injury left him sidelines for over 2 months. He made spot starts at the end of the first half of the season, but the performances did little to address whether he was a good player, or just a luxury buy.

After a winter-pausen spent re-integrating with him teammates, Thiago came into the Ruckründe a man on fire. Featuring deep in holding midfield, on the left wing, and in the middle, Thiago Alcantara was Pep Guardiola's creative hub for Bayern Munich in their 4-2-3-1 formation and was the key to getting the best performances out of players like Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mario Götze. And, there's nothing that sums those contributions up more than his jaw dropping performance against VfB Stuttgart. You know; the one where this happened.

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But in late March, in a 3-3 draw with Hoffenheim, Thiago was withdrawn with a knee injury. It was later revealed to be a partial ACL tear that sidelined the Spanish international for two months. And in late May, a re-tear of the same ACL now has him set to be sidelined until well into August, missing not only the start of the season but also the 2014 World Cup.

There's no way to sugarcoat it. Thiago Alcantara's season was as close to an unmitigated disaster for him as possible.

Grade 2013-2014: D+
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