Thiago Almada makes surprising revelations about MLS at Botafogo press ponference

Almada reveals the positive impact of Major League Soccer on his career and outlines ambitious plans at Botafogo
Botafogo v Atletico Mineiro - Brasileirao 2024
Botafogo v Atletico Mineiro - Brasileirao 2024 / Wagner Meier/GettyImages

Thiago Almada, a new arrival at Botafogo, was full of praise for Major League Soccer (MLS) during his first press conference in Brazil. The former Atlanta United midfielder was emphatic in highlighting the crucial role of the MLS in his development as a player and person, as he prepares for a new chapter in his career.

Signed in a deal that could reach an impressive US$25 million (R$137.4 million), with US$22 million fixed and a further US$3 million in bonuses, Almada signed a contract with Botafogo until June 2029. However, there is already an agreement for him to join John Textor's French club Lyon next year. This strategic move reflects the growing importance of the MLS as a launch pad for global talent.

Follow MLS Multiplex on X (Twitter).

During the press conference, Almada expressed his joy at signing with Botafogo and his excitement at representing Argentina at the Olympics in Paris. "First I wanted to get here, sign, meet my teammates and then I'm off to Paris tomorrow. I'm very happy to be representing Argentina. When they called me, I liked the idea of playing in the Libertadores and being in Brazil. First I'll think about the Olympic journey and then I'll dedicate myself to Botafogo," said the young player.

Almada didn't hide his gratitude to the MLS, emphasizing how the American league has been fundamental to his development: "I've grown a lot in the MLS, as a person and as a player. It got me to the World Cup with Argentina, I think I've grown a lot. Here I want to keep developing and I want to play as many games as possible," he said. It's clear that the MLS, which is often underestimated, has played a significant role in nurturing top-level talent.

At just 23, Almada already has a remarkable career. He quickly won the hearts of Atlanta fans with his electrifying style of play, racking up an impressive 23 goals and 33 assists in 77 regular season games. His playmaking ability and vision stand out, bringing a rare balance between technical ability and strategic thinking. He is a true maestro on the pitch, combining the ability to finish with the ability to create chances for his teammates. Looking forward to the new challenge ahead, Almada also showed great enthusiasm for Brazilian soccer.

"My expectations are very high, very good. The Brazilian league is one of the best. I came here to keep growing," he said. He described himself as a versatile player, comfortable both as a No10 and playing on the sides of the pitch. "I get on the pitch and I feel comfortable playing as a No10 or as a midfielder on the sides of the pitch. I don't have any problems. I'll play wherever the coach asks me to. I love giving assists to my teammates, but the most beautiful thing in soccer is scoring goals. I really want to be a Botafogo idol, I'm going to work hard for that and help the team," he added.

The signing of Thiago Almada by Botafogo is a move that reflects the increasing interconnection between global leagues and the growing importance of the MLS on the international soccer scene. Almada brings with him not only his talent and experience, but also a unique perspective shaped by his time in the MLS.