There are few figures that divide opinion as much as Jordi Alba, both within and without Barcelona fanbase. One of the most successful left-backs at his position, Alba has often become the scapegoat due to his antics on the pitch and moments of mindlessness.
Running parallel to the debate raging about his merits is the fact that for some time, he has not been challenged for his spot in the team. Originally competing with Adriano, Lucas Digne and most recently Junior Firpo, none have managed to place his position in the starting XI under threat.
Yet speculation has grown about Barcelona bringing in another left-back as competition this summer, something which was put to Alba following Barcelona’s 1-0 victory over Real Madrid in Las Vegas.
“I always think I have competition. I motivate myself because I am at the best club in the world. Barca have given me everything and that is my daily motivation. I am very fortunate. I want to continue winning titles. That is what makes the people happy. And I think we are on the right track.”
Overall, he seemed positive about the idea of competition though, speaking to Sport.
These days any player can make you look silly and take your place. I deal with it as I think all of us have to do so. If another player comes on the left side, perfect.”
“The signings are very good and of great quality, they strengthen us a lot. What we had already was very good but the additions we have made are very good. We have great competition.”
While Alba is unlikely to openly criticise the club about not bringing in a potential replacement for him, his manager Xavi Hernandez has been adamant about the necessity for competition. Even if Alba keeps his place, at the age of 33 he could no doubt benefit from a rest every now and then.