Thiago Alcantara attracted plaudits for his classy behaviour following Spain’s penalty shootout defeat to Italy in the European Championship semi-final, congratulating his opponents on their victory.
Several football fans took to Twitter to question Luis Enrique’s decision-making, however, criticising the former Barcelona boss for his apparent reluctance to select the 30-year-old throughout the competition.
The Spaniard was one of two players to net his spot-kick after having been brought on in extra-time with the score being level at 1-1.
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Thiago featured rarely for the national outfit throughout the tournament, a fact that seemed inconceivable to some supporters expressing their views on social media.
Spain’s early exit will undeniably please Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp in part, with the midfielder set to return to Merseyside ahead of pre-season, with the club looking to have the vast majority of its stars fit and available for the next domestic campaign.
With Italy having secured passage to the Euros final, Roberto Mancini’s men will await one of England or Denmark, with the pair to face off in the remaining semi-finals clash.
You can catch some of the fan reaction below:
Spain knocked out of the Euros, Enrique deserves this. His team hasn't been convincing since the group stages, and he still chooses not to play Thiago. Commiserations to Thiago now come home and get ready for pre season ?? #lfc #liverpoolfc #ynwa #spain pic.twitter.com/S8Mol1ZXvI
— L5starfc ? (@l5starfc) July 6, 2021
Can you please explain to me how Thiago goes from World 11 one season to benching for his national team the next @LungileM_Journo @cam_masaka @NathanMash45
— Agobakwe (@agobakwe_m) July 6, 2021
Really glad Thiago slotted in his penalty in his usual stylish manner. To be honest, any team that leaves him on the bench for most of the tournament doesn’t deserve to get to a final. Italy defensively relentless. So tough to beat. #ITASPA #EURO2020
— Tom Hamer (@Tom_Hamer7) July 6, 2021
Luis Enrique’s team selection cost him.
Morata had to start also Thiago #ESP #ITASPA
— Luke Kelly (@lukekellyO3) July 6, 2021