Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara says the chance to resume his football education under Pep Guardiola was behind his decision to reject a move to Manchester United in 2013.
The Italian-born Spain international became Guardiola's first signing a year on from leaving Barcelona, with Thiago following the two-time Champions League winning manager to the Bavarian giants.
Thiago was heavily linked with becoming David Moyes's first signing at United and the 24-year-old became the first of several deals during a harrowing eight months in charge at Old Trafford for the Scot.
And though the player admits a move to United was a possibility, he concedes the opportunity to link up with Guardiola again was too good a chance to turn down.
"Yes [United were a possibility], but the real possibility was Bayern," he told The Guardian ahead of the Champions League semi-final first leg against Barcelona.
Asked whether Guardiola was behind his move to the Bundesliga club, he said: "Yes, probably, but I can't change the past and I prefer to focus on now. You learn something new every day with Pep, a magnificent coach who transmits real passion."
While United have struggled to recapture their very best form since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, Thiago has flourished since turning down a move to the Premier League.
A winner of five major trophies in the first two seasons of his Bayern career, any fears the decision to reject United was a mistake have been firmly dismissed but the player believes he would have adapted to English football.
"Football's football," he added. "It's a question of learning. And if football wasn't like that, it would be boring. I was lucky, my dad played in many different places and I saw different styles.
"Wouldn't it be dull if everyone played like the Spanish, or the English or the Argentinians? In Italy they're incredibly competitive [and] defend so well; in England it's more direct; in France, it's physical."