Everything was easier with Lionel Messi at Barcelona - Jordi Alba

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Lionel Messi Jordi Alba Barcelona
Jordi Alba admits “everything was easier” when Lionel Messi was at Barcelona, with the pair forging a destructive, if somewhat unlikely partnership.
  • Defender & attacker combined at Camp Nou
  • Opponents struggled to contain them
  • Argentine left for PSG in the summer of 2021

WHAT HAPPENED? While Alba is a left-back, and Messi spent much of his time at Camp Nou operating from the right of an attacking trio, two products of the famed La Masia academy system combined for 34 goals across nine memorable years. Messi’s departure for Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent in 2021 brought a productive relationship in Catalunya to a close, with Alba conceding that the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner remains a big miss for La Liga heavyweights.

WHAT THEY SAID: Spain international Alba has told Universo Valdano of working with mercurial Argentine superstar Messi: “We understood each other perfectly, he put it to me at the right time. It was increasingly difficult because all the opponents already knew us, but he would come in from the second line and sometimes he would find other team-mates who were more unmarked. We made a very good duo. With him, everything was easier. Almost all my assists are to him, I remember that the first one was at El Sadar. In all aspects of the game, he is the best.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Messi cemented his standing among the all-time greats when inspiring Argentina to global glory at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, with Alba delighted to see his former team-mate complete a glittering medal collection. He added: “All football fans wanted Leo to win, for all he has suffered, for all he has given to football and because he has always wanted that cup.”

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Lionel Messi Jordi Alba Barcelona

Lionel Messi Jordi Alba Barcelona

Lionel Messi Jordi Alba Barcelona

WHAT NEXT? Barcelona have struggled at times without Messi, with financial mismanagement doing their collective cause few favours, but they are back at the top of La Liga under former club captain Xavi and are also looking to chase down Copa del Rey and Europa League honours.