If it were possible to name a player "MVP of the Summer," I would give that title to Thiago Alcantara without a second thought.
The Italian-born Spaniard has responded to speculation about his role at Barcelona should Cesc Fabregas arrive at club in magnificient fashion.
Starting his summer off with 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, Thiago Alcantara was ever-present in the side, helping his side reach the final with consistent, reliable performances. The final is where Thiago Alcantara truly shined however, scoring a spectacular 40-yard free kick to put Spain up 2-0 against Switzerland.
He would go on to be selected as man of the match.
Thiago Alcantara joined up with the Barcelona squad for the Audi Cup afterwards, and once again, his brilliance and class could not be denied. In the final of the cup against Bayern Munich, Alcantara scored the only two goals of the game as Barcelona won the competition.
Particularly impressive was the nature of the two goals. The first goal was a header, reminiscent of Lionel Messi's goal against Manchester United in 2009, except more impressive as the tiny midfielder climbed above his defender to score it.
The second goal was arguably more impressive though, as the Barcelona midfielder curled a beautiful long shot around the highly-rated Manuel Neuer to seal the victory and win the trophy for Barcelona.
Thiago Alcantara's performance against Manchester United last night was the icing on the cake.
Despite being on the losing side, Alcantara still managed to show his unstoppable ability, scoring a scorcher to equalize for Barcelona in the 70th minute. As seen in the clip, the ball was in the net before David De Gea even had time to react.
Why on earth Pep Guardiola would want to bring Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona after seeing Thiago Alcantara's incredible skills, I don't know, but if Alcantara isn't given the opportunity to regularly play at Barcelona next season, it'll be a huge mistake on Pep Guardiola's part.
The midfielder has done everything possible, and then some, to prove his worth and value to the coach, and at a club that claims to put its youth products first, it'd be a crime not to see Alcantara regularly producing his magic for Barcelona.