Jordi Alba admits he’s ‘realised a dream’ after completing his move back to Barcelona from Valencia.
The Spanish international, who scored his country’s second goal in the 4-0 Euro 2012 final victory over Italy, spent seven years with the Catalan giants as a junior before leaving in 2005.
Fast forward another seven years, and the 23-year-old is back at the Nou Camp after time at Cornella, Valencia and Gimnastic (on loan), signing a five-year deal for a fee believed to be in the region of €14 million.
“I’m happy to come home, with my family and my people. I’ve realised my dream,” he told the media during his first press conference as a Barca player.
“No one likes to hear that they have to leave, but my conscience was clear and I left with my head held high. I believed in myself. Before I was a striker, now I’m a left back”
How times change, from a teenage striker to La Roja’s finest left back. The Blaugrana appear to have landed a bargain from the Mestalla Stadium, and Alba is excited to be playing alongside some of the world’s best players at club level in the coming months.
“I’m going to play for the best team in the world and I want to adapt as quickly as possible. I know the philosophy and most of the players,” he added.
“I get along great with the Barça players. When we were on international duty I could tell they wanted me to come to Barça.”
Having lost the La Liga title to Real Madrid last season, Alba knows he’s coming into a side that will be looking for revenge over their great rivals in the race for the title.
And, despite the exit of Pep Guardiola, he’s confident Tito Vilanova is the man to lead the club back to the title, after being impressed by his initial conversations with the new manager.
“When the tournament was over I talked with Tito and he congratulated me for agreeing to come to Barça. They have told me marvelous things about him and Guardiola,” concluded Alba.
“Vilanova is very capable, I’m sure we’ll have a phenomenal run with him.”