Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara has revealed that he will not touch the ‘This Is Anfield’ sign that sits above the tunnel at the club’s famous stadium because of what he has previously heard from former international teammate Fernando Torres about its tradition.
Thiago first wants to win trophies with Liverpool before he feels worthy of touching it, which past players have often done as they head from the dressing room to the pitch.
“As I heard once from Fernando Torres…to touch this symbol we have to deserve it by winning all the trophies that we can. Which is why I will respect this tradition [and not touch it],” the £25m signing explained in behind the scenes footage of his first tour of Anfield.
Although Liverpool players of old would regularly touch ‘This Is Anfield’ before a game, manager Jurgen Klopp also believed it had to be earned by winning something.
Far removed from the glorious heyday of the 1970s and 1980s when the Reds were dominant in England and in Europe, Liverpool had won just one major trophies in nine years prior to Klopp’s arrival on Merseyside in the autumn of 2015.
“I’ve told my players not to touch the 'This Is Anfield' sign until they win something. It’s a sign of respect,” Klopp explained not long after his appointment.
Having won the Champions League in 2018/19, players earned that right and captain Jordan Henderson was seen touching it ahead of last season’s Premier League opener against Norwich, Liverpool’s first home game since their European triumph in Madrid.
Thiago has won everything there is to win at club level as a result of his time at Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but he will now start from scratch at Liverpool and seems only too happy to oblige with the tradition that has been established.
It was clear from his time at Bayern that he has enormous respect for the history and culture of the club he is playing for, as evidenced recently in his fond farewell to the German champions.
‘This Is Anfield’ was originally installed at the request of legendary manager Bill Shankly as a way of intimidating opposition players before a game – his decision for Liverpool to start wearing what became an iconic all-red kit, having worn white shorts until the 1960s, was for similar reasons.
Source : 90min