Jordi Alba has revealed in a video posted on social media that he will quit FC Barcelona at the end of the current season, ending an 11-year career with the club. The left-back announced that he and the club have reached an agreement to terminate his contract early, as negotiations for a pay cut failed to reach a positive outcome.
The Catalan departed La Masia, but his outstanding season at Valencia CF convinced Barcelona to pay £12 million to bring him back. Due to the Blaugrana’s financial issues, he is leaving the club one season sooner than expected.
Three captains gone in a year
With this announcement, Barcelona has lost three captains this season. Gerard Piqué announced his retirement from football with immediate effect just before the World Cup, alleging a lack of trust from his former teammate Xavi Hernández, who is now the coach. Sergio Busquets, another La Masia product who was given the keys of Pep Guardiola’s sextuple-winning Barcelona club two weeks ago, announced his departure from the team with no obvious destination. This has resulted in Frenkie De Jong, despite his tender age, being named captain in the match against Real Valladolid.
Jordi Alba’s career
Jordi Alba was a product of Barcelona’s legendary La Masia programme who did not receive an opportunity to play for the first squad. The former left winger was forced to make his way in a new team. He began his career with Cornellà, but was swiftly recruited by one of the country’s most important clubs, Valencia CF.
He spent a brief time with Valencia’s youth teams before settling into Valencia Mestalla, the club’s reserve team. His strong performance earned him a loan back to Catalonia, this time to Gimnastic, where he quickly earned a starting spot and performed admirably in the Segunda División.
As a result, Unai Emery chose to keep him in the first team for the 2009/2010 season, but it wasn’t until the following year that he took over the left-back position. He was no longer a winger, but had evolved into an attacking full-back with excellent offensive projection. He had enough space to sprint and join the attack dangerously because of his speed. These were attributes that were highly valued at FC Barcelona, where he began his career.
Following the Spanish national team’s Euro Cup victory in 2012, his previous club paid £12,000,000 to lure Alba back as their new left-back. He left the club as an attacker, but he has returned as a totally different player, retaining many of the attributes that drew him to the academy in the first place.
At ‘Can Barça,’ Alba dominated everything. His honours include six league titles, five Copa del Rey trophies, four Supercopa del Rey trophies, one Champions League, one UEFA Super Cup, and one FIFA Club World Cup. Alba will be remembered for one thing above all else: his partnership with Messi. They played on different sides of the football, but he and the Argentine superstar communicated flawlessly on the pitch, resulting in many of Messi’s goals being assisted by Jordi Alba. Alba was appointed club captain as a result of Messi’s departure.
With Jordi Alba’s departure, Luis Enrique’s Barça is on the verge of dismantling. From the starting XI that lifted the trophy at the Allianz Arena, only Marc-André ter Stegen remains in the team. FC Barcelona is clearly entering a new era, where the once sacred cows have to graze in another field.