MADRID, SPAIN - Tuesday, April 6, 2021: Liverpool's Thiago Alcantara appeals to the referee during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg game between Real Madird CF and Liverpool FC at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. (Pic by Propaganda)

Thiago “always opposed” to VAR as “essence” of football goes missing

Thiago has left no doubt over his feelings toward VAR, echoing the loss of instant emotions shared by fans which are then replaced by a sense of doubt.

The use of VAR has led to criticism from far and wide, with the Premier League‘s use, in particular, leaving a lot to be desired.

The technology has seen most of the frustration levelled at its use with offside, with marginal calls causing mass frustration and calls for change.

Thicker lines will be implemented in the English top-flight from next season to hand back the advantage to the attacker, but its ability to take away a moment of joy has altered the thought process for fans and players alike.

And for Thiago, he’s “always opposed” its use, and he is more than content with accepting mistakes from the on-field referees as human error occurs in all walks of life.

“There’s VAR, which I’ve always opposed. It removes the essence, the picaresque,” Thiago told the Guardian. “We make mistakes when we play, referees have to make mistakes too.

“Lots of mythical moments wouldn’t exist [with VAR]. And when you score, even a brilliant goal from the halfway line, you’re waiting. Thinking: ‘I hope there isn’t a foul in the buildup, I hope there’s no offside, I hope’.”

It’s a point of view that is not uncommon, with growing opposition to its use following one questionable decision after the other as every aspect of the game now appears to be under the microscope for any infringement.

Jurgen Klopp said late last year that “I used to be one of the people who said VAR is a good idea but I’m not sure I’d say that again,” while Fulham‘s Scott Parker also voiced disdain at the loss of “raw emotion.”

There are, of course, other issues within football that need to be tackled but that those who are directly impacted by VAR have not been swayed in a positive direction speaks volumes.

The Euros have provided some glimpse of what it could be while simultaneously shining a light on all that needs to change with its application in the Premier League, with effective governance of top priority with VAR set to go nowhere anytime soon.