Thiago: I am a football romantic, I’m totally against VAR



Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcántara has voiced his objections to VAR after his side’s 2-1 loss to Arsenal in a pre-season friendly in the U.S.

Rarely has there been a more divisive issue in football than VAR, which saw its introduction in LaLiga, Serie A, Ligue 1, MLS and the Champions League last season following its questionable debut at the World Cup in Russia last summer.

Proponents of the system say it is enriching football while critics say it is destroying the game. And in the corner of the latter is Spain and Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcántara, who voiced his objections to VAR after his side’s 2-1 loss to Arsenal in a pre-season friendly in the U.S.

“I am totally against VAR,” said the former Barcelona player in the mixed zone of the Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles.

“I am a football romantic and I like the mischievous part. Without it we wouldn’t have the mythical incidents that have existed throughout football’s history. I think it is an implementation that gives a little more justice, but it takes away from the essence of the game.”

The 28-year-old midfielder also highlighted how it can hinder goal celebrations, as players now must wait to see if the goal will be deemed valid or revised by VAR.

“The first time you’re going to celebrate, you’re a bit restrained because the first thing you look at is if the referee has given the goal or if he has his hand on his ear,” he said. “Football loses a bit of its grace.”

After defeat to Arsenal in Los Angeles, Thiago and his Bayern team mates will travel to Houston to take on Real Madrid at the NRG Stadium on Saturday.