The Spain international feels the game is losing its “magic” because of the changes that have taken place in recent years
Liverpool midfielder Thiago Alcantara says he hates modern football and believes VAR is damaging the game.
The use of video technology to assist referees has proved controversial in football, causing long delays while officials review footage before coming to a decision on goals and fouls.
Spain international Thiago, who is currently with his national team at Euro 2020, says he has always been against the use of VAR and feels it is an example of football losing its way.
What has been said?
“Coaches can communicate with us better, players can communicate with each other more,” the 30-year-old 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’.”
Football getting faster and more physical, says Thiago
Thiago feels football is losing its “magic” and “fantasy” as the game is becoming more physically intense and faster.
“It’s taken up a different pace, rhythm: more accelerated, more physical,” he said.
“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.
“Players are more developed in every sense. You lose that player who’s different, who ‘breathes’; 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.”
What next for Thiago and Spain?
After opening Euro 2020 with a 0-0 draw against Sweden, Spain will look to get their first win of the tournament when they take on Poland on Saturday.
They will then round off the group stage with a clash against Slovakia on Wednesday.