It’s all been very fast,” Alejandro Balde said speaking about his career progression over the 2022/23 season. “Four months ago, I was playing for Barça B, and two weeks go, for the under-21s. Now, all of a sudden, I am playing in a World Cup. It’s a dream for me.”
Much like the player himself, the fans did not expect this meteoric rise from Balde, either. The pre-season, coupled with the serious lack of competition to Jordi Alba, however, came in handy for him, as he impressed the Barcelona coaching staff.
Now the starting left-back for the club, Balde is set to be rewarded with a five-year contract extension proposal, as reported by Fabrizio Romano.
The new deal is set to come with an increased salary, and a €1 billion release clause – the same as Gavi, Pedri, Ansu Fati, Ronald Araujo, Jules Kounde, and Ferran Torres.
Over the course of this season, Balde has made 12 appearances in the league, setting up three players for an assist, while averaging 0.7 key passes per game.
His incredible form saw him get a late call-up to the Spanish national team for the World Cup after Jose Gaya picked up an injury in training for La Roja. Luis Enrique, evidently impressed by the teenager, gave him his debut against Costa Rica in Spain’s 7-0 win.
“I was nervous before going to the field, but then acted as usual. In the team, I had coincided with many Barcelona players, with whom I feel very comfortable,” Balde said, speaking about his appearance off the bench in Spain’s opener.
Balde may have taken the starting spot from Jordi Alba for Barcelona, he is still playing second fiddle to the veteran defender for Spain. His time is expected to come soon enough, though.