Seven years after it first happened in 2013, there is a new Tiago-after-a-treble victory at the Allianz Arena. Sport1 revealed the details of the Portuguese talent’s move to Bayern Munich and manager Hansi Flick’s special connection with him, as well as his integration into the club.
Per Sport1, Flick’s first contact with Tiago Dantas happened around six years ago at a tournament in Lisbon. During his days as the assistant coach and sports director at the DFB, Flick was invited by Benfica for an interview where he witnessed the talent of the U-20 Portugal International for the first time. Impressed by the youngster, Flick continued to keep tabs on him.
Six years later, it was at Hansi’s express request that his employers that brought the Portuguese youngster to Munich. Due to a delay in the completion of the transfer, Dantas could not be registered for the Bundesliga and Champions League squads, so the club will have to wait until January to do so. Until then, the Lisbon native will get match minutes with the reserves in the third division.
It was another wish of Hansi that Tiago train with the first team which clearly shows the trust the manager has in the young midfielder. Trust that Tiago himself acknowledges according to the report. Appreciative of Tiago’s talent as well as aware of his slender physique, Flick has a plan in place for the youngster.
“As a coach, I really enjoy working with him,” Flick said. “Tiago is a great footballer, he is open-minded and eager to learn. He is already showing his qualities in our training. He is small, but has a strong disposition. We will work on his physique. We have a clear plan to improve that.”
Off the pitch, Tiago is working enthusiastically to familiarize himself with the club and its culture, including putting in the effort like every foreign player to learn German. Bayern’s vice captain, Thomas Muller is reportedly in charge of Tiago’s integration. Müller seems to have taken the midfielder under his wing already, inquiring about his first impressions of the club following the FCB II game against Kaiserslautern.
Following Tiago’s debut with the reserves against Kaiserslautern, many were quick to draw comparisons with his namesake and ex-Bayern player, Thiago Alcantara who has now moved on to Liverpool. Upon questioned whether the new Tiago would also succeed, Flick was careful to avoid direct comparisons.
“Let’s see. We will watch him very closely,” Flick said. “Thiago is an exceptional talent and to reach that level, (Dantas) still has a long way to go. Tiago has his own identity, he’s an exciting player.”
While Flick’s empathetic connection with his players is well known, his affection towards Dantas in this post-match video seems to indicate who the teacher’s pet might be:
Dantas is currently at Bayern for a season-long loan, while still under contract with Benfica that runs until 2024. The release clause for Dantas is allegedly €88 million. The Bavarians have, however, however secured an option to purchase him for just €7.5 million and a rumored 25% sell-on fee. Considering the potential of the technically-gifted midfielder, as well as the price in question to make his move permanent, hopes will be high at the club and the fans for his breakthrough! Good luck, Tiago!