Name: Thiago Motta
Place of birth: Sao Bernardo (Brasil)
Thiago Motta moved to FC Barcelona in June 1999 from Brazilian club Juventude after Llorenç Serra Ferrer, at the time Technical Director of youth football at FC Barcelona, recommended him to the Club.
During the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 seasons, he played for Barca B. The following season he played in a few friendlies with the senior squad while continuing with the B squad.
Motta made his competitive senior squad debut against Mallorca (3-0) in the Nou Camp on 3rd October 2001 at the orders of Carles Rexach. Since then he has carved out a niche for himself in the squad due to his versatility and the fact that he qualifies as an EU player (he has dual Brazilian-Italian nationality).
In the 2002-03 season, with Radomir Antic on the manager's bench, the midfielder enjoyed a great end to the season and was one of the key elements in classifying the team for the UEFA Cup and in the great run of wins in the Champions League. Motta played 13 Champions League and 21 Liga matches, scoring five goals. His first came at the Camp Nou against Osasuna on October 6, 2002, in a game that ended 2-2.
In the 2003-04 season, a combination of injury and illness reduced his appearances and prevented him from getting an extended run in the side. However, he still managed to play 26 competitive games (20 in the league, 5 in the UEFA Cup and 1 in the King's Cup) and scored 1 goal against Real Sociedad in the Anoeta (3-3).
Everything seemed set for him to make his definitive breakthrough in the 2004-05 season but a serious injury blocked his progress. On the 11th September 2004, Motta suffered a cruciate ligament injury in his left knee in a game against Sevilla in the Nou Camp. He spent the rest of the season recovering in Brazil and Barcelona before reappearing for the last few games in the championship-winning finale.
His bad luck with injuries continued into the 2005-06 season. Motta was forced to withdraw from a pre-season training camp in Austria for an operation on his left big toe. The Italian-Brazilian returned to action on October 30 against Real Sociedad. But muscular injuries have continued to blight the kind of progress Motta would have liked.
He's a versatile midfielder blessed with a tremendous physique. He can occupy a number of midfield positions either in more attacking, creative roles or in a more defensive position to break down opposing attacking moves.
His character and fighting spirit make him a valuable asset in any squad. He also adds a strong presence in the air (he's 187 cm tall) and a powerful left foot shot from long range. He's good on the ball and dangerous around the box, which enables him to slot in behind the front men.
His talent, experience and maturity make Motta an all-round midfielder with a tremendous present and a promising future.
2006-07 Spanish Supercup
2005-06 Champions League
2005-06 Spanish Supercup