Thiago Motta: PSG’s no-frills continuity man who shows the value of age

The 35-year-old has fended off younger more expensive contenders for his position year after year in Paris thanks to a subtle skillset so often overlooked

There were many who thought Thiago Motta would have been deep into retirement by the age of 35. A snapped anterior cruciate ligament at Barcelona in his early 20s badly hampered his development and there were fears for his career at 26 when his injury problems were so dire he was released by Atlético Madrid.

It was at this time, the summer of 2008, that Harry Redknapp gave Motta a trial for Portsmouth against Sunderland. Redknapp liked what he saw but had his doubts about the player’s knee and mobility, as did other potential suitors. Given that such a brittle joint had to hold up a 6ft 2in rugged frame it hardly seemed plausible that it would still be doing so nine years later, with Motta a central figure in a Paris Saint-German side oozing talent and heavily fancied to win the Champions League..

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