Jordi Alba: A modern great who rarely got his due

Jordi Alba, the charismatic and dynamic left-back, is poised to bid farewell after an illustrious 11-year stint with Barcelona.

After Sergio Busquets, another Barcelona great is all set to part ways with the club. Jordi Alba will end his 11-year stint at the club after the ongoing season. The 34-year-old has reached an agreement with the club to terminate his contract which ran until the summer of 2024.

Alba was a part of La Masia back in the day but failed to make it into their first team. After leaving the famous Barcelona Academy, the full-back went through a lot to slowly climb the ladders and return to the Catalan giants as one of the best full-backs in world football.

He did it for the Spain national team at UEFA Euro 2012 and had been putting in exceptional performances for Valencia before returning to Barcelona in the summer of 2021. Post his return to the Spanish giants, Alba established himself as a regular and was integral to their dominance in Europe.

Over the 11 years, the 34-year-old has featured in a total of 458 matches and has 126 goal contributions. The fact that he has 99 assists while playing as a full-back pretty much gives us an idea of the kind of attacking threat he was.

Despite his heroics, he never really got the limelight he deserved. The 34-year-old was always surrounded by star players who had all the headlines but they ran the show because he helped them do so.

The Catalonian Gem who revived himself

Jordi Alba was a part of Barcelona’s youth academy back in the day. He came through the ranks and was a part of their Under-18 when things started to fall off for the full-back. And, he decided to part ways with the club.

Alba joined UE Cornella and spent two years at the club when Valencia came calling for his services. The 34-year-old started off in the reserve team. In a season’s time, he made it to their first team and was sent out on loan.

After returning from loan, Alba started featuring for their first team. He went from strength to strength and became an integral part of their first team in the three years that he was at the club. The Barcelona full-back had 14 goal contributions in 110 outings for Valencia.

His incredible performances resulted in him being a part of Spain’s Euro 2012 squad. He was called up to join a Spanish side that had won the Euro 2008 and then the World Cup 2010. While not much was expected from the full-back, he went on to put in some incredible performances for the national team. The 34-year-old was the star of the final with an incredible goal.

His performances heading into the Euro and during the tournament had established him as one of the best full-backs going around. And, this is when Barcelona gave it their all to re-sign Alba and bring him back to the club where he ended up creating history.

From being rejected to then going on and reinventing himself in a way that the world stood and applauded him, the Spain international had come a long way. He fought hard to make it back to Barcelona and be an important part of their first team. His efforts ensured that he got what he fought for.

The Deadliest full-back duo in the world

Dani Alves and Jordi Alba were by far the deadliest full-back duo in world football. The partnership between them at Barcelona was a dynamic and formidable combination that wreaked havoc on opposing defences.

While all the limelight was on Alves because of his incredible partnership with Lionel Messi, Alba was the one who made it all possible. The 34-year-old was one of the best full-backs in the world going forward. However, he decided to take a back seat for the majority of the time and allow Alves and Messi to do the damage. Alba only joined the attack when he saw a clear opening.

Watching it from the outside, it felt as if he knew when he was supposed to make those overlapping runs. It was as if Messi had already told him that he would find him or as if he knew that the cutback would find Messi. Meanwhile, the seamless understanding and complementary playing styles of Alves and Alba formed the backbone of Barcelona’s attacking prowess from the flanks.

Alves, known for his lightning speed and relentless ran down the right wing, perfectly complemented Alba’s overlapping style on the opposite side. Their telepathic connection allowed them to anticipate each other’s movements effortlessly, resulting in countless dangerous crosses, overlapping combinations, and devastating attacks.

Alves and Alba’s partnership not only provided a constant threat in the final third but also displayed an impressive defensive understanding. With Alves’s agility and Alba’s tenacity, they effectively shut down opposing wingers and limited their impact on the game.

Their ability to seamlessly transition from defence to attack and support their teammates was a testament to their versatility and footballing intelligence. Together, Alves and Alba formed a partnership that was the envy of many clubs, leaving an indelible mark on Barcelona’s success and establishing themselves as two of the finest full-backs of their generation.

Telepathic Partnership with Lionel Messi

The partnership between Jordi Alba and Lionel Messi at Barcelona was a sight to behold, characterised by an almost mystical connection that defied logic at times. Alba had directly created over 20 goals for Messi and he was involved in numerous others as well.

Their on-field chemistry transcended words as they effortlessly anticipated each other’s movements, delivering mesmerizing passes and perfectly timed runs. At times, it felt like they were playing a game of FIFA sitting next to each other.

It was not just Alba who kept finding Messi, rather the former Barcelona forward often used to look for the 34-year-old as the duo tried to break down the opposing defence with just one long ball. While Messi’s delivery made the Spain international deadly, Alba’s overlapping runs and pinpoint crosses became a crucial outlet for Messi’s vision and creativity, resulting in countless goals and assists.

Together, they formed an unstoppable force, wreaking havoc on defences and solidifying their place as one of the most formidable duos in football history. But there came a stage when things had to be taken to the next level.

The departure of Dani Alves left a huge gap on the right flank, and Messi no longer had the support he needed. Barcelona kept trying one full-back after the other but none were as effective as Alves was with Messi.

The Brazilian right-back’s absence made Alba’s role even more vital. With Alves no longer on the right flank, Alba inherited the responsibility of providing attacking width from the left, stepping up to become Messi’s trusted ally in the final third.

Their telepathic understanding blossomed further as Alba’s overlapping runs and precise deliveries opened up new dimensions in Barcelona’s attack. The Spain international’s expanded playmaking role not only created additional scoring opportunities for Messi but also showcased his own growth as a well-rounded player.

Jordi Alba’s impending departure from Barcelona marks the end of an era, as the club bids farewell to one of its most loyal and successful players.

Leave Comment


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.