Speaking an interview with Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona defender Jordi Alba has opened up on being called up to the Spanish national team squad for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar, as well his situation at Spotify Camp Nou.
The 33-year-old is one of the most experienced players on the books at Barça but has seen regular game-time hard to come by this season. Xavi has relied on youngster Alejandro Balde as his first-choice left-back this term with Marcos Alonso also preferred over Alba at times.
Recent weeks, though, have seen Alba play a bit more prominently due to the injuries in the defensive contingent.
Despite his reduced minutes, the experienced star continues to enjoy the faith of Spain manager Luis Enrique and has claimed that he is happy to be a part of the World Cup squad. When asked if he has to prove or vindicate himself given his situation at Barça. Alba said:
“To vindicate nothing. It is clear that it is an important call for any player. More for me, since I have had many years in the national team. This season I’m playing less for Barcelona, but when I’m doing it I’m feeling very comfortable.
“This call from Luis is great for me to continue and try to help all my teammates – those who have played fewer World Cups or those who haven’t played any. I feel strong and eager.”
On what his objectives were for the World Cup, Alba said: “To win it, like anyone who goes to the national team. It’s an important challenge for us, we have a great team, although it will be difficult because there are other great teams. On an individual level, the same objective as at a collective level, to win the World Cup.”
A seasoned campaigner, Alba will be playing his third FIFA World Cup and will be the second most-experienced player in the Spain squad after his Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets, who is participating in his fourth World Cup and was part of the La Roja setup that won it in 2010.
It goes without saying that both Alba and Busquets will have important roles to essay if Spain are to go the distance in the tournament.