Barcelona: Jordi Alba's Euro 2012 Performances a Sign of Things to Come
The news from FC Barcelona they have agreed a deal (h/t goal.com) to sign Spain left-back Jordi Alba will be pleasing for fans of the Blaugrana. Any person who doubted or was uncertain of the player's ability and quality was sure to be impressed during these last few weeks.
Alba will fit really well into the Barcelona setup and his skills and link-up play with his future teammates show he will be a great part of team's successes next season.
Jordi Alba was the best left-back in the tournament and treated viewers to his skills on both ends of the pitch.
The signing may not have been completely necessary but it does alleviate a lot of the concern about Eric Abidal's health and ability of La Masia graduates to step up if needed.
He is likely to start at left-back, with Adriano, recently promoted Marc Muniesa and the aforementioned Abidal all able to fill in. This could even free up Abidal to play centrally when necessary.
Alba's arrival provides Barcelona with their left-sided Dani Alves, who actually may be a better defender than the Brazilian. If you're not entirely convinced by that statement then think about this.
The 23-year-old was part of a defense that only conceded one goal throughout the whole tournament and while that has to be noted, it's his individual battles that one should look at.
Jordi Alba dealt with all these players pretty well in one-on-one situations, and rarely did any nervy moments come from the future Barcelona player being beaten by his man. Not one player that Alba marked was particularly dangerous for their team when on the left side of defense.
It does have to be noted that in Spain's first meeting with Italy he was not as effective thanks to their 3-5-2 formation and the energetic play of Christian Maggio.
He did not face an attacker against France until the second half and by then Spain were pretty comfortable. The fact that he left Mathieu Debuchy, the right-back turned right midfielder for that game, falling on his face shows the threat he was during that game.
That moment provides a nice intro to his attacking qualities, which were on show for all to see. The aforementioned move led to his assist on Xabi Alonso's game-opening goal in the quarterfinal, but there was plenty more from the left-back.
At the top of it all was his link-up play with Andres Iniesta on the left, which is a major reason why those two were consistently among the best Spanish attackers in every game.
His movement off the ball and touches in possession provided proof of his Barcelona past as he slotted into the Spanish setup quite easily and seemingly made everyone forget about his predecessor Joan Capdevila.
In the final he capped off a magnificent tournament with a great run and a finish that would have made many strikers proud.
At 23 years old, Jordi Alba can only get better but has really set himself apart during Euro 2012. He already has a rapport with some of his new teammate, and they have already spoken of their delight at his impending arrival.
Jordi Alba is a great signing for the present and the future of Barcelona. He has already shown what he can do for the Spanish team, and one can only expect there to be more to follow next season with Barcelona.
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