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Jordi Alba

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Jordi Alba
Alba lining up for Spain in 2017
Personal information
Full name Jordi Alba Ramos[1]
Date of birth (1989-03-21) 21 March 1989 (age 35)[2]
Place of birth L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)[3]
Position(s) Left-back
Team information
Current team
Inter Miami
Number 18
Youth career
1996–1998 Hospitalense
1998–2005 Barcelona
2005–2006 Cornellà
2007–2008 Valencia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2006–2007 Cornellà 15 (3)
2007–2009 Valencia B 18 (5)
2008–2009Gimnàstic (loan) 35 (4)
2009–2012 Valencia 74 (5)
2012–2023 Barcelona 313 (17)
2023– Inter Miami 25 (4)
International career
2008 Spain U19 6 (1)
2009 Spain U20 9 (0)
2008–2011 Spain U21 4 (0)
2012 Spain U23 4 (0)
2011–2023 Spain 93 (9)
2008–2013 Catalonia 5 (0)
Medal record
Representing  Spain
UEFA European Championship
Winner 2012 Poland–Ukraine
FIFA Confederations Cup
Runner-up 2013 Brazil
UEFA Nations League
Winner 2023 Netherlands
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 03:37, 4 July 2024 (UTC)

Jordi Alba Ramos (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈʒɔr.di ˈaɫ.βə]; born 21 March 1989) is a Spanish professional footballer from Catalonia who plays as a left-back for Major League Soccer club Inter Miami. He is often regarded as one of the best left-backs of all time.[4][5][6]

Alba started his career at Barcelona, but was released. After joining Cornellà, he moved to Valencia. In 2012 he returned to Barcelona, with whom he has won sixteen major honours, including five La Liga titles, five Copas del Rey and one UEFA Champions League.

After winning 23 caps and scoring one goal at youth level, Alba made his senior debut for Spain in 2011. He was an integral member of the team that won UEFA Euro 2012, and was also part of the squads at the FIFA World Cup in 2014, 2018, and 2022, and the European Championship in 2016 and 2020. Alba was the captain of the team that won the 2022–23 UEFA Nations League. In 2023, he announced his international retirement.

Club career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Alba was born in L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia.[7] He started his career in the youth ranks of Barcelona as a left winger, but was released by the club in 2005 for being too small.[8] He then joined neighbouring club Cornellà and, after almost two years, departed in a €6,000 transfer to Valencia where he finished his football education.[9]

After helping the reserves earn promotion from Tercera División in 2007–08, Alba played on loan at Segunda División club Gimnàstic Tarragona the following season,[10] where he made 22 starts.[citation needed]

Valencia[edit]

Alba playing for Valencia in 2011

After returning to Los Che, Alba made his La Liga debut on 13 September 2009, in a 4–2 win at Real Valladolid.[11] He then started in two consecutive UEFA Europa League group stage matches, against Lille and Slavia Prague (both 1–1 draws, respectively away and home).[12][13] Due to continuing injuries in Valencia's defence, he played much of 2009–10 as a left-back, posting overall good performances. In that position, on 11 April 2010, he scored his first goal for the club, in a 2–3 away loss to Mallorca.[14]

In 2010–11, still with Unai Emery in charge, Alba was used almost always as a defender, battling for first-choice status with Jérémy Mathieu. He made 27 league appearances as the team again finished third, subsequently qualifying for the 2011–12 UEFA Champions League.[15]

In the following campaign, Emery began using both players on Valencia's left side, a strategy he had tested the previous season.[16] This proved an effective tactic as Alba and Mathieu frequently interchanged position and offered support for one another in both attacking and defensive areas;[17][18] ultimately, the player credited the manager as a "key man" in his successful transition to a more defensive role.[19]

Barcelona[edit]

Alba taking on Jorginho of Napoli in 2014

On 28 June 2012, Alba signed a 5-year contract with Barcelona for a transfer fee of €14 million.[20] He made his official debut on 19 August, playing the full 90 minutes in a 5–1 home win against Real Sociedad.[21]

Alba scored his first goal for the Blaugrana on 20 October 2012, the opener in a 5–4 win at Deportivo La Coruña,[22] and scoring an own goal.[23] In the following game, at home against Celtic in the Champions League group stage, he found the net in the 93rd minute of a 2–1 win.[24]

On 12 March 2013, Alba scored his fifth goal of the campaign, scoring in the last minute to complete Barcelona's 4–0 home win over A.C. Milan in the Champions League round of 16 after a 0–2 first leg defeat at the San Siro, when his team became the first in the competition's history to overturn such a deficit.[25] He ended his first season at Barcelona as league champion, as Tito Vilanova's side regained the title from Real Madrid.[26]

On 2 June 2015, Alba agreed to a new 5-year contract with a new buyout clause of €150 million.[27] Four days later, he started in the Champions League final, helping the club to its fifth win in the competition by beating Juventus 3–1 at Berlin's Olympiastadion.[28] He made 38 appearances in all competitions, with one goal,[29] as Barça won a treble.[30]

On 22 May 2016, Alba won the second Copa del Rey of his career, scoring in the 97th minute of the final against Sevilla after a through pass from Lionel Messi, in an eventual 2–0 extra-time win at the Vicente Calderón in Madrid.[31]

On 11 March 2019, Alba agreed to a new five-year contract with a new buyout clause of €500 million.[32]

Alba missed out on 50% of the games in the 2019–20 season, missing 12 out of 24 games, due to a hamstring injury and a muscle injury.[33]

Alba had his best performance in the 2020–21 season where he scored 5 goals and 13 assists in all competitions as he won the Copa del Rey with his club.[34]

Alba with Lionel Messi in 2019

On 9 August 2021, Jordi Alba was announced as the 4th captain of Barcelona after captain Lionel Messi left the club ahead of the 2021–22 season.[35]

On 24 May 2023, it was announced that Alba would leave Barcelona at the end of the 2022–23 season, after the player and the club reached an agreement to terminate the contract one year earlier than its expiration.[36]

Inter Miami[edit]

Alba entering DRV PNK Stadium with Leonardo Campana in 2023

On 20 July 2023, Inter Miami announced the signing of Alba on a one-and-a-half year contract, with the option of a further year.[37] His presentation was right before his debut for the club on 3 August against Orlando City in a Leagues Cup play-off game, coming on in the second half to help his team secure a 3–1 win.[38] On 15 August he scored his first goal for the club in the semi-final of the Leagues Cup against Philadelphia Union in a 4–1 victory.[39] He would go on and win his first title with the club on 20 August when Inter Miami beat Nashville SC in the 2023 Leagues Cup final after a penalty shootout.[40]

On 7 September, Alba scored his first regular season goal for the club in a 3–1 victory over Los Angeles FC.[41]

International career[edit]

Alba with Spain in 2013

Alba represented Spain at the 2008 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, as well as appearing in all four games as the country won the gold medal at the 2009 Mediterranenan Games. He was also part of the squad at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt.[citation needed]

Alba received his first call-up to the full national team on 30 September 2011, for the last two UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Scotland.[42] He made his debut against Scotland on 11 October, a 3–1 win in Alicante in which his cut back from the left wing provided the assist for the opening goal, scored by former Valencia teammate David Silva.[43] His impressive debut confirmed his status as a strong candidate to be the long-term successor of Joan Capdevila as the regular left-back for La Roja,[44] and he was also included in the under-23 squad for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.[45]

Alba was included in Vicente del Bosque's squad for the Euro 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine, and played in every match, as Spain won the tournament. He supplied the cross for Xabi Alonso to open the scoring in the 2–0 quarter-final victory over France.[46] In the final against Italy, after running onto a pass from Xavi during a counter-attack, he scored the second goal in a 4–0 win.[47][48]

Alba was also selected for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil. He played four complete matches during the tournament, scoring twice in the 3–0 group stage win over Nigeria.[49]

Alba made Del Bosque's squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil,[50] making three appearances as the defending champions were knocked out in the group stage.[51] He was also named in Julen Lopetegui's squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia and Luis Enrique's 24-man squad for the UEFA Euro 2020.[52][53]

Following the absence of captain Sergio Busquets due to coronavirus, Alba was given the captaincy until further notice.[54] Alba was picked for the Spain squad at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.[55] On 18 June 2023, he captained Spain to win the Nations League Finals for the first time after defeating Croatia 5–4 on penalties following a goalless draw.[56]

Alba's retirement from international duty was announced on 29 August 2023. He played 93 matches for Spain, scoring nine goals.[57]

Style of play[edit]

Alba is a diminutive, technically gifted, mobile, and rapid attacking left-back, who can also be used as a left winger; he is known for his pace, link-up play, ball control, positioning, vision, movement, and his ability to time his attacking runs into space and get up the flank, as well as his ability to deliver crosses into the box, which allows him to provide assists for teammates. Moreover, he is also a tenacious tackler; however, his defending has been cited as a weakness by certain pundits, such as Enrique Ortego of Marca, although he was able to improve upon this aspect of his game as his career progressed.[58][59][60][61][62][63] His speed and stamina allow him to be very involved in both his team's offensive and defensive plays, as he can get from one end of the pitch to the other very quickly, often pushing forward to get past players and score goals, or falling back when his team have lost possession.[64][65][66]

In his prime, his connection and combination play with Lionel Messi rendered them one of the most effective attacking duos in world football[67][68] and one of the most lethal in Barcelona's history.[69][70][71] Regarded as a standard for left-backs in Europe by the media,[63][72] Alba has earned plaudits from former left-backs Joan Capdevila and Roberto Carlos over his playing style and ability.[60] He is also considered to be among the quickest players of his generation, and one of the fastest full-backs of all time.[73][74][75]

Personal life[edit]

Alba and his partner Romarey Ventura have three children.[76]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 3 July 2024
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Cup[a] Continental Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Cornellà 2006–07[77] Primera Catalana 15 3 15 3
Gimnàstic (loan) 2008–09[78] Segunda División 35 4 1 0 36 4
Valencia 2009–10[79] La Liga 15 1 2 0 9[b] 0 26 1
2010–11[80] La Liga 27 2 4 0 3[c] 0 34 2
2011–12[81] La Liga 32 2 8 0 10[d] 1 50 3
Total 74 5 14 0 22 1 110 6
Barcelona 2012–13[82] La Liga 29 2 4 1 9[c] 2 2[e] 0 44 5
2013–14[83] La Liga 15 0 5 0 4[c] 0 2[e] 0 26 0
2014–15[84] La Liga 27 1 6 1 11[c] 0 44 2
2015–16[85] La Liga 31 0 3 1 9[c] 0 2[f] 0 45 1
2016–17[86] La Liga 26 1 6 0 6[c] 0 1[e] 0 39 1
2017–18[87] La Liga 33 2 5 1 8[c] 0 2[e] 0 48 3
2018–19[88] La Liga 36 2 6 0 11[c] 1 1[e] 0 54 3
2019–20[89] La Liga 27 2 3 0 5[c] 0 1[e] 0 36 2
2020–21[90] La Liga 35 3 5 2 7[c] 0 2[e] 0 49 5
2021–22[91] La Liga 30 2 2 0 11[g] 1 1[e] 0 44 3
2022–23[92] La Liga 24 2 2 0 3[h] 0 1[e] 0 30 2
Total 313 17 47 6 84 4 15 0 459 27
Inter Miami 2023 MLS 7 1 1 0 5[i] 1 13 2
2024 MLS 18 3 3[j] 0 0 0 21 3
Total 25 4 1 0 3 0 5 1 34 5
Career total 462 33 63 6 109 5 20 1 654 45
  1. ^ Includes Copa del Rey, U.S. Open Cup
  2. ^ Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Appearances in UEFA Champions League
  4. ^ Four appearances in UEFA Champions League, six appearances and one goal in UEFA Europa League
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i Appearance(s) in Supercopa de España
  6. ^ Appearances in FIFA Club World Cup
  7. ^ Five appearances in UEFA Champions League, six appearances and one goal in UEFA Europa League
  8. ^ Two appearances in UEFA Champions League, one appearance in UEFA Europa League
  9. ^ Appearances in Leagues Cup
  10. ^ Appearances in CONCACAF Champions Cup

International[edit]

Appearances and goals by national team and year[93]
National team Year Apps Goals
Spain 2011 2 0
2012 13 2
2013 9 3
2014 9 0
2015 6 1
2016 11 0
2017 8 2
2018 9 0
2019 3 0
2020 0 0
2021 10 0
2022 11 1
2023 2 0
Total 93 9
Spain score listed first, score column indicates score after each Alba goal.[93]
List of international goals scored by Jordi Alba
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 1 July 2012 Olympic Stadium, Kyiv, Ukraine 11  Italy 2–0 4–0 UEFA Euro 2012
2 12 October 2012 Dynama Stadium, Minsk, Belarus 13  Belarus 1–0 4–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
3 23 June 2013 Castelão, Fortaleza, Brazil 20  Nigeria 1–0 3–0 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup
4 3–0
5 6 September 2013 Olympic Stadium, Helsinki, Finland 24  Finland 1–0 2–0 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
6 5 September 2015 Estadio Carlos Tartiere, Oviedo, Spain 36  Slovakia 1–0 2–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualification
7 11 November 2017 La Rosaleda, Málaga, Spain 57  Costa Rica 1–0 5–0 Friendly
8 14 November 2017 Krestovsky Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia 58  Russia 1–0 3–3 Friendly
9 24 September 2022 La Romareda, Zaragoza, Spain 86   Switzerland 1–1 1–2 2022–23 UEFA Nations League A

Honours[edit]

Barcelona

Inter Miami

Spain U20

Spain

Individual

References[edit]

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