4 of Jordi Alba’s Best Moments of 2019

Jordi Alba is ranked 36th in 90min’s European Player of the Year series.


Hello class, today we’re going to be learning about Jordi Alba. ?Specifically, we’re going to be learning about Jordi Alba – the most talented left-back currently playing the game – through the lens of his 2019. 

In a lot of ways, 2019 was Alba’s Barcelona career in a microcosm. La Liga? Won it at a canter (more on that later). Champions League? Best not talked about. Injuries? Just enough to be annoying. 

Oh, and Lionel Messi. 

Anyway…Jordi Alba’s best bits of the year, eh?


Barça 2-0 Atleti (06/04/19)

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-ATLETICO

It’s easy to forget, given Barcelona’s eventual margin of victory, that the Spanish league title took a long time to wrap up last season. There was a spell through February and March where Atletico Madrid looked like they could push the reigning champions all the way – and a win at Camp Nou would have cut Barça’s lead to just five points with more than enough games (and distractions) to come. 

Ernesto Valverde’s side dominated possession, shots and, after Diego Costa’s 27th minute red card, number of men on the pitch. Alba had already had the best chance of the game early on, seeing his poked shot rebound off Jan Oblak’s right-hand post, but no goal came. Chances went begging, and Atleti did as Atleti do, soaking up the pressure with the aim of nicking a winner. 

That was all undone with five minutes to go when Alba did as he does, marauding down the left to create a mismatch against Angel Correa and putting it through the Argentine’s legs to feed Luis Suarez. Suarez scored, Camp Nou let out a collective breath, and turned their minds to a Champions League quarter-final…


Barça 3-0 Man Utd (16/04/19)

Jordi Alba

Alba was a big part of shutting down United’s questionable attacking threats in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford just four days after the win over Atleti, but it was the return leg at Camp Nou where he shone. 

Barcelona’s defensive performance was so dominant that all three of United’s nominal front three (Martial, Rashford and Lingard) were all substituted in the space of 15 second-half minutes. 

Alba saw more of the ball that any United player, completed a higher rate of passes than anybody on the pitch (97%! 97 entire per cent!) and made as many tackles as anybody in a Barcelona shirt barring Sergio Busquets. Then he set up Philippe Coutinho for the goal that put the cherry on top of a fantastic team performance. So that was good.


Being Barça’s Second Best Player

Jordi Alba,Lionel Messi

Less a moment and more just a general…thing – but in a year where Ernesto Valverde let down his players and was let down by them in equal measure, Alba was a rock of consistency. 

He’s obviously not Lionel Messi, but he and Suarez are the two men who bring the best out of the Argentine, week after week. His national team can’t do it, Antoine Griezmann, Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele all need to adapt to the concept of playing with the best player in the world. Alba does it effortlessly. 

Aside from his own speed and flashes of attacking brilliance, one of Alba’s most valuable traits at Camp Nou is how he works with Messi. That makes titles happen. 


La Liga Title #5

Ivan Rakitic,Samuel Umtiti,Jordi Alba

Winning things is nice, isn’t it? In a season where the Copa del Rey was snatched away in unlikely fashion and Champions League glory was…well, you remember that bit, winning Alba’s fifth league title was a moment worthy of celebration in a year where things didn’t all go Barcelona’s way. 


For more from ?Chris Deeley, follow him on Twitter at ?@ThatChris1209!


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