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Luis Milla exclusive: Spain never worried about losing Thiago; Liverpool great choice

Former Spain U21 coach Luis Milla says the country's football association was never worried about Thiago Alcantara switching allegiances to Brazil.

Son of former Brazil star Mazinho, Thiago was born in Italy while his father was playing for Lecce.

He started playing football with Brazilian club Flamengo before moving to Spain with his father at the age of five.

In 2005, Thiago joined Barcelona's famed La Masia academy and was capped by Spain's U16 side two years later.

There was always the lure of following in his father's footsteps with Selecao, but Thiago stuck with the Spain set-up through all the age groups until making his senior debut in 2011.

Milla coached Thiago for Spain U21s, with the Liverpool midfielder scoring in the 2011 U21 European Championship final triumph over Switzerland.

And the former Barcelona midfielder says there was never any threat of Thiago swapping Spain for Brazil.

"No, it was always clear to myself and to the Spanish Federation that we were not going to lose Thiago to Brazil," Milla told Tribalfootball.com.

"He is a top player and has quality and determination too, which makes him a good combination of someone with a winning mentality and physical presence."

The 29-year-old joined Liverpool this summer after a highly successful seven-year spell with Bayern Munich, which included seven Bundesliga titles and one Champions League crown.

And Milla, who spent seven years with both Barca and Real Madrid, says Thiago made the right decision to join Jurgen Klopp's side.

He added: "His time at Bayern Munich allowed him to continue to make his mark and he has also grown as a player as the Bundesliga is a demanding league, physically speaking. Liverpool is a great choice for Thiago and it is a good move for him."

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Will McCarthy

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