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Messi returning to Barcelona would delight Jordi Alba as he hopes 'one of the best' Dembele is given new contract

10:05 GMT 24/03/2022
Lionel Messi Jordi Alba Barcelona
The long-serving full-back would welcome a familiar face back to Camp Nou with open arms and hopes a current colleague will agree fresh terms

Jordi Alba enjoyed the most productive of professional relationships with Lionel Messi during an iconic Argentine’s time at Barcelona, and the Blaugrana left-back is hoping that a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner can be convinced to retrace his steps back to Camp Nou.

An all-time great saw a career-long stint in Catalunya come to a close in the summer of 2021 as financial difficulties for La Liga heavyweights forced him to depart as a free agent and link up with Paris Saint-Germain.

Things have not played out as planned in the French capital, as jeers have been aimed in Messi’s direction, and Alba is among those eager to see questions asked of whether an emotional return to a spiritual home can be put in place.

What has been said?

Barca defender Alba, who provided plenty of assists for a record-setting goalscorer prior to an enforced parting of ways, has told El Larguero of mounting speculation surrounding a South American superstar: “It wasn't easy for him, his team-mates or the club, but football is like that. It's hard to see him with another shirt, but he's still the best in the world.

“He's got a lot of football left and I'm sure next year he'll be much better.

“Messi is the player with whom I've understood the best and it would be nice if he came back. I suffered a lot after his departure as he was a good friend.”

Who else does Alba want to see at Barcelona?

While hoping to see Messi return to Camp Nou at some stage, Alba is also looking for Ousmane Dembele to stick around.

The World Cup-winning France international forward continues to run his contract down towards free agency, but a welcome return to form has been enjoyed of late and he could still commit to fresh terms.

Alba said of the talented 24-year-old: “Renew Dembele? I think they should. In his position he's one of the best in the world by far.

“He's motivated and I don't know what he's going to do, but I hope he stays.”

Haaland or Mbappe?

There has also been plenty of talk at Barcelona regarding possible incomings this summer, with Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland considered to be a top target.

Alba is a big fan of the Norwegian, and Real Madrid-linked Kylian Mbappe, but feels both will need to raise their game if they are to make big-money moves to La Liga.

The Spain international added when asked to make his pick between two of the most exciting forwards on the planet: “I wouldn't know who to choose. Mbappe is crazy and he showed that in the [Champions League last-16] tie against Madrid. Haaland is also young and scores a lot of goals.

“Playing for Dortmund and PSG is not the same as playing at Camp Nou or the Bernabeu. We would have to see what they do here.”

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