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‘We started from zero with no regrets’ – Thiago on Bayern Munich’s 2020 revival

The Spanish midfielder has explained the mentality shift in Hansi Flick’s squad which has garnered improved results since the turn of the year

Thiago Alcantara says Bayern Munich were able to “refresh ourselves and start from zero” in 2020, putting their poor first half of the season behind them in order to re-emerge as a major force on both domestic and European fronts.

Bayern parted ways with head coach Niko Kovac at the start of November, following a damaging 5-1 Bundesliga defeat against Eintracht Frankfurt.

The result compounded an underwhelming start to the 2019-20 campaign which saw Bayern fall off the pace in their pursuit of an eighth successive league crown, with Kovac’s 18-month reign coming to an end amid widespread criticism of his tactics and selection policy.

Hansi Flick was drafted in to replace the Croatian on an interim basis, and slowly but surely he has managed to lift the mood around the Allianz Arena and restore the club’s identity on the pitch.

Bayern have won ten of their last 11 fixtures across all competitions since the winter break, returning to the Bundesliga summit while also making progress in the Champions League – and Flick has been rewarded with a three-year contract.

The German champions have not won the Champions League since 2013, but are impressing in this year’s competition after a 3-0 last 16 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on February 23.

Flick’s men are also through to the latter stages of the DFB Cup, and a treble could be on the cards if they can maintain their form when the season resumes following the coronavirus pandemic.

When asked to offer an insight into Bayern’s recent revival, Thiago said: “When you stop in December, you have time to look back with a lot of perspective at the things you did wrong, but also the things you did well.

“So, I think we had that time to prepare ourselves for the start of the league, refresh ourselves and start from zero. I think that was the point. We started from zero with no regrets from before. I think it was awesome.”

Thiago has contributed three goals to Bayern’s Bundesliga cause this season, including a stunning individual effort during a 3-1 win away at Mainz on February 1.

The 28-year-old left three defenders for dead before firing an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner of the net, capping a superb all-round display which helped Bayern move back to the top of the table on goal difference.

“It was a really nice goal – I think one of the most beautiful ones I’ve scored in my life,” Thiago said of his superb strike against Mainz. “But at the moment when you’re playing, you’re so focused, so into it that you just try to do the things that in the moment, in less than one second, you think you have to do.”

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