Bayern Munich sign Barça’s rising star Thiago

Bayern Munich have signed Spain Under-21 captain Thiago Alcántara from Barcelona on a four-year contract in a deal worth €25 million ($32.6 million), the European champions confirmed on Sunday.

Bayern Munich sign Barça's rising star Thiago
Thiago will reunite with former Barça coach Pep Guardiona at Bayern Munich. Photo:. Lluis Gene/AFP

New Bayern coach Pep Guardiola had said last Wednesday that "it was Thiago or nobody" on his wish list of new players at the Champions League winners and the midfielder, who had also been linked with a move to Manchester United, will fly to Munich for his medical in the coming days.

Bayern will pay €20 million for the 22-year-old with the extra five million coming from a future friendly match between the two clubs.

Thiago scored a first-half hat-trick for Spain in the final of last month's European Under-21 Championships to claim a 4-2 win over Italy.

"Thiago Alcantara was the main wish of our new coach Pep Guardiola," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

"We are pleased that we succeeded in making this great transfer happen.

"Thiago has only just been elected the best player of the Under-21 European Championship. He is a fantastic player with great perspective, which will strengthen Bayern."

Bayern claimed their sixth win from their sixth pre-season friendly on Sunday with a 4-0 win at German third division side Hansa Rostock.

But ahead of the Bundesliga resumption on August 9th, Thiago's arrival will only heighten competition in Bayern's midfield with Germany star Mario Goetze, another new signing from Borussia Dortmund, also vying with stars Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller.

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”Worst rout ever’: Spain gloats after Madrid win

Spain dreamed Wednesday of an unprecedented Madrid derby final to the Champions League, as the nation's sporting press gloated over Real Madrid's demolition of the mighty Bayern Munich

''Worst rout ever': Spain gloats after Madrid win
This picture of the Real Madrid team leaving a burning Allianz Arena, the home of Bayern Munich, went viral on Twitter thanks to former Real player Fabio Cannavaro

"Worst thrashing in history!" boasted the front-page of Spain's biggest selling sports daily Marca after Real Madrid wreaked havoc in Munich with a 4-0 away leg win delivering a 5-0 aggregate crushing of Bayern.

Many papers recalled Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge's pre-match warning to Real Madrid that the German ground would be an "inferno" and "Munich will burn". 

"Rummenigge was right. Munich burned," ran the front-page headline of Madrid-based sports daily AS after Pep Guardiola's Bayern suffered their heaviest home defeat in European competition.

"What a night! The best Madrid I can remember in Europe, a night to banish once and for all the phantom of Bayern, to wipe away all the bad times suffered before the Bavarian giants," said AS football analyst Alfredo Relano.

"What have you done with my team, Pep?" reads this meme showing former Bayern manager Jupp Heynckes crying

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"Come round to mine to watch the final," reads this Spanish meme mocking Guardiola and Mourinho

Real are now one game away from their longed-for, yet elusive "La Decima" — their 10th European title.

If Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid can now prevail over Jose Mourinho's Chelsea in London, they would face Real Madrid on May 24 in Lisbon.

It would be Atletico's first European championship final in 40 years, the first chance to regain the title since May 1974 when they lost to Bayern Munich.

"You can do it Atleti!" Marca blared on its front page.

"Come on Atleti!" echoed Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo.

Mundo Deportivo football writer J. G. Gomara said his father, who was aged 13 at the time, never tired of regaling his family with his memories of the Atletico Madrid-Bayern Munich final.

"Well, 40 years have gone by and the red-and-whites are just one step away from having the chance to avenge my father's memories and those of many of you," Gomara wrote.

"They are just one step away but it is a big one," he said, warning that the Madrid side will have to overcome Mourinho's defensive wall. "If Atletico want to be in Lisbon they will have to sweat blood to do it."

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