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Jordi Alba reaffirms his desire to see out contract at Barcelona: “I see myself capable”

Speaking in an exclusive interview on El Larguero, Barcelona defender Jordi Alba has reaffirmed his desire to stay put at the club for the remaining length of his contract which expires in 2024.

Alba’s future has been a topic of much debate since the summer transfer window, when Barça tried to offload him to Inter Milan in the closing stages of the trading period. The veteran left-back though refused to leave but has seen his game-time take a hit this season.

Indeed, manager Xavi Hernandez has installed Alejandro Balde as his first-choice left-back in the ongoing campaign. Furthermore, given his high wages, it has been reported that Barcelona are keen on getting rid of Alba to ease their financial burden.

While the rumours around his future continue to swirl, Alba is very clear on where he stands on the matter. “I have a contract with Barça and I see myself capable of fulfilling it until June 2024,” he said.

“I have earned respect. When I don’t see myself ready to play for Barça, I’ll be the first to leave. I don’t want to make a fool of myself,” Alba added.

Opening up on his decision to remain at the club in the summer, the Spanish international added: “I have always had confidence in myself and I know what I can give. I’ve improved a lot compared to when I arrived.

“Everyone sticks with strikers because they score goals, but I’ve improved and people who know realise that. A lot of things were said about my decision at the club, but I decided to stay. That’s all there is to it.”

When asked if he felt that the club tried to push him out in the summer, Alba replied: “Nobody said anything to me about Inter. I know that news leaks out, of course. I’ve been there for a long time and I know the club’s environment.

“I’m not going to give myself a year or so to leave. I have earned the respect of the professional people I work with on a day-to-day basis at the club, be it the staff or my colleagues. In that sense, I have a clear conscience. Then, what people talk about from outside…”

During the club’s General Assembly, Barcelona president Joan Laporta seemed to take aim at the club captains for not agreeing to reduce their wages in the summer and help the team financially.

But, Alba felt that those comments were not in the best taste, while also adding that he has always helped the club in any way possible when he has been asked to do so.

“I did not identify with what Laporta said. Whenever the club asked me for help, I gave it; nobody can say otherwise. I am a very sincere person and that can be liked more or less. I have helped in whatever way I can, and it is whatever it is, and I have helped,” he said.

“I have thought about what is best for the club, I am from Barcelona and I feel the colours. As long as I’ve been asked, I’ve done it.”

When asked when was the last time the Blaugrana had requested him to take a pay cut, the left-back replied:

“We are talking about what people say, because that’s what you read in the press. I don’t know if it’s a way of putting pressure or I don’t know. I was asked for help after the Euro last time. It has continued to be talked about and I can’t control it.”

Alba was also asked about his relationship with Xavi and how things worked now that he has gone from being a former teammate to his manager.

In response, the left-back said: “I’m very good with Xavi, although it’s a different relationship to what we had before because now he’s my coach. His idea of the game is very good and we are on the right track.”

Alba also opened up on the retirement of his long-time teammate Gerard Pique, who surprised many with his decision to hang up his boots earlier this month.

“I knew about Pique’s idea, but not the timing. I was very surprised. He did well, as nobody knew about it and he did it when he wanted to. It’s a very personal decision and I think it’s right. He has earned the respect of everyone and he decided it that way, it was a nice farewell,” Alba said.

Despite his reduced involvement at the club level, Alba continues to enjoy the trust of Spain manager Luis Enrique and the veteran expressed his gratitude towards the La Roja boss, saying:

“Luis Enrique has shown me that he trusts me. At Barça, we won a lot of titles together and here we have coincided again. I’ve done well when I’ve come here and now he’s called me back when the situation is more complicated at my club

I didn’t say anything to him when I saw the list, but I am very grateful and excited. All of us who are here are very fortunate, there are teammates who didn’t come and could have been here because of their level.”

Rounding off, Alba insisted that Spain had what it takes to go the distance in the World Cup, as he said: “Of course, we can win the World Cup. They are complicated tournaments, but the group is spectacular and I think we will have a good World Cup.”

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