Thiago's lasting gift to Liverpool as he announces retirement

Thiago Alcantara
Thiago Alcantara of Liverpool the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield on May 19, 2024 in Liverpool, England.

Thiago Alcantara may have left Liverpool FC and announced his retirement from football, but his legacy in the city will live on.

The skilful midfielder spent four seasons with Jurgen Klopp’s side before leaving when his contract expired this summer. It was reported today that Thiago had decided to retire from professional football altogether.

However, that does not mean the city which he called home for four years will forget about him, as he has left a permanent legacy to benefit young people. As the ECHO reported in February 2023, Thiago was doing a photoshoot at the Greenhouse Project Early Years Education Centre (GHP) in Toxteth a few years ago when something caught his eye.

The charity gives disadvantaged children and young people the opportunity to increase their creative potential and grow their life chances. There was a playground in the centre that was in need of improvement.

Paul Khan, chair of the GHP, said: "It was a bomb site to be honest. Lucky enough Thiago took an interest while he was doing a photoshoot, he must have asked what was going on here and we said it was an education centre.”

“He said, ‘I will do a fundraiser to make this place fit for purpose for the kids.’ A fundraiser at the Hope Street Hotel raised £37,500, which is incredible.”

The fundraising was done via the Alcantara Family Foundation, the president of which is Thiago’s wife, Julia Vigas. With additional funding from the LFC foundation, a brand new play area was built and installed by ESP Play.

In February 2023, Thiago and his wife Julia opened up the playground alongside Matt Parish, the CEO of the LFC Foundation. Thiago told the ECHO at the time: "As we have always said our foundation's work, we have to be part of and involved in the cities where we live. Liverpool was a choice, we want to leave a piece of our body, our soul here as well.

"We’re always trying to help children and give them the best chances and atmosphere so they can develop themselves. It's about creating chances for them to grow up and be the best that they can".

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