Thiago Alcantara happy with Bayern Munich switch from Barcelona
MAR 04, 2014 3:17p ET
The 22-year-old midfielder joined the German and European champions in the summer to reunite with his former Blaugrana coach Pep Guardiola.
Despite struggling with injuries this season, Thiago has made 12 appearances in the Bundesliga and three in the UEFA Champions League.
"To join Bayern Munich was a brilliant decision," he told Kicker-Sportmagazin. "I had great years with Barcelona, but the transfer helped me a lot to mature into a better footballer and also to mature as a person. Everything is a perfect fit in every respect. Of course, it is difficult to win a first-team role (at Barcelona) due to the presence of Andres Iniesta and Xavi."
Thiago added: "They are great players. I have a lot of respect for them. But it was not about winning their place. It was about the whole thing. The people at Barcelona did not hand me the feeling they would fully believe in my qualities."
Yet the former Barcelona standout praised Xavi and even explained how aspires to provide the same influence on the pitch.
"Xavi is the benchmark for me. When I see him, my jaw drops," he said. "I hope I can give football a little bit of what Xavi gave football."