Liverpool star Thiago Alcantara has paid tribute to Leeds United’s Rodrigo Moreno by including the Whites attacker in his dream five-a-side team.
The duo are lifelong friends thanks to their father’s friendship with each other and coincidentally arrived in the Premier League at the same time last summer.
Thiago joined Liverpool from Bayern Munich after winning the Champions League last season, whilst Rodrigo completed an eye-catching move to Leeds from Valencia.
Speaking to Liverpool’s in-house media, Thiago was asked to name his dream five-a-side team and picked Rodrigo in his starting line-up, revealing friendship was a motivating factor behind his selection.
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He said: “I always say that, more than the best players, I choose the best chemistry and the best friends I have in football.”
Thiago also picked his brother Rafinha, who was also linked with a move to Elland Road over the summer before he eventually completed a transfer to PSG from Barcelona.
Alongside Thiago, Rodrigo and Rafinha, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and Jonathan dos Santos were also included in the five-aside team.
“The only problem is somebody has to defend,” joked Thiago. “But it’s okay.”
Thiago has played alongside De Gea for Spain and was a teammate of Dos Santos at Barcelona.
Leeds United have suffered another early and embarrassing FA Cup exit after slumping to a 3-0 defeat at Crawley Town.
Next up for the well-beaten Whites is a return to Premier League action when they host Brighton at the weekend.
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Rodrigo and Thiago are often reported to be cousins, but they actually have a close relationship through their fathers.
Leeds star Rodrigo’s father is former Flamengo full-back Aldaberto, who moved to Spain to open a football school alongside 1994 World Cup winner Mazinho, who is the father of Thiago and Rafinha.
It meant the two developed a friendship, playing in Flamengo’s youth set-up together before moves to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.
The duo subsequently went on to play together for Spain.