Thiago Alcantara of Liverpool and Spain thinks that modern football does no longer has the “magic” it used to have due to the introduction of technology into the game.
The 30-year-old central midfielder argued that the changes in the rule of the game to accommodate the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) are damaging the game of football.
Thiago Alcantara didn’t only argue against the introduction of the VAR, he argued against the introduction of more than three substitutions per game which is being used in the ongoing Euro 2020. He believed that such a change is giving more advantage to teams that would want to defend more or attack more.
The Spanish midfielder who is currently trying to help Spain to win the ongoing Euro 2020 stressed that the VAR makes goalscorers not be sure if their goal is counted or not because the VAR might intervene and cancel it no matter how beautiful the goal is.
Just like the argument of Thiago Alcantara, most football stakeholders think that the VAR is causing more harm than good as the smooth flow of the game is often interrupted to give room for the center referee to rewatch a contentious action.
Alcantara who said his nature is more classical believes that footballers make mistakes and referees should be allowed to make mistakes for the beauty of the game.
“Coaches can communicate with us better, players can communicate with each other more,” Thiago Alcantara said, as quoted by the Guardian.
“You lose competitiveness but develop other aspects. Extra substitutions mean teams that defend, defend to the 90th minute; teams that press you, press you to the end.
“I have that ‘hate modern football’ mentality; I’m more classic in attitude. And then there’s VAR, which I’ve always opposed. It removes the essence, the picaresque.
“We make mistakes when we play, referees have to make mistakes too. Lots of mythical moments wouldn’t exist [with VAR]. And when you score, even a brilliant goal from the halfway line, you’re waiting. Thinking: ‘I hope there isn’t a foul in the build-up, I hope there’s no offside, I hope’.”
More so, the midfielder who joined Liverpool from Bayern Munich on September 18, 2020, for a transfer fee worth €22 million thinks that football is taking “a different pace, rhythm: more accelerated, (and) more physical.
“The figure of the No. 10 has almost disappeared. We see less magic, less fantasy. Footballers do more but faster. There’s no need to dribble because you run”, he added.
“Players are more developed in every sense. You lose that player who’s different, who ‘breaths’; the playmaker who was slower even if he had sublime technique doesn’t get the opportunity to turn.
“Those of us who are not so fast with our legs have to be faster in our heads. It’s like anything in life: adaptation. Things keep moving. Football changes constantly expressed differently.”
Thiago Alcantara is expected to be available for Spain when they take on Poland later today, June 19, 2021, at 20:00. They are expected to win the game if they want to stand a chance of qualifying for the round of 16.
It's a meeting with #POL in Seville for @Thiago6 and @SeFutbol tonight at #EURO2020! 🇪🇸 pic.twitter.com/JQ8vyxgs9M— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 19, 2021
Recall that Spain drew 0-0 with Sweden in their opening Euro 2020 Group E match. The result left the country on the third spot with a point. If they fail to win Poland tonight, they might not make it out of Group E.