Barcelona defender to exit after 11 seasons

Barcelona defender to exit after 11 seasons

May 24 (UPI) — Barcelona announced on Wednesday that veteran defender Jordi Alba will leave the club at the conclusion of the current season, ending his 11-year run on the senior team for the Spanish La Liga club.

Alba’s contract was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2024-25 season, but Barcelona consented to terminate it a year early, at the conclusion of the 2023-24 campaign.

FC Barcelona released a statement thanking Alba for his professionalism, commitment, and dedication, as well as his consistently positive and cordial relationship with all members of the Barca family, and wishing him the best in the future.

“Barcelona will always be your home, Jordi.”
Alba began his junior career in 1996 with the Spanish club Hospitalense. In 1998, he entered Barcelona’s academy. Later in his adolescence, he attended Cornella and Valencia.

Alba made his senior team debut in 2006 at Cornella. In 2012, he joined Barcelona’s senior team. Alba went on to make 312 appearances for Barcelona, playing alongside Messi, Neymar, Xavi, Luis Suarez, Carles Puyol, Dani Alves, Andres Iniesta, and a host of other superstars.

Alba said in a video posted to social media, “Thanks to my parents and my brother for everything they have taught me; to my friends for sharing the journey with me; and to all teammates, staff, coaches, presidents, and employees I have interacted with during my 18 years with this club.”

Without my children’s daily support and my wife’s tireless efforts, none of this would have been possible.

Alba accumulated 19 goals, 91 assists, and 19 major trophies in his first 458 career games. He was a member of six La Liga champions and six Copa del Rey winners. Alba was also a member of Barcelona’s Champions League-winning roster in 2014-2015. In 2015, he won the FIFA Club World Cup with Barcelona.

Alba has also appeared 91 times for Spain since making his international début in 2011.

“My greatest dream has always been to play for Barcelona, and my memory is filled with moments that I will cherish forever,” Alba said. “Growing in the academy was one of the most memorable times in my life.

“After seven years, I was forced to depart, only to return at a later date for the moment I had always envisioned: playing for the first team and returning home to Camp Nou for a presentation. It was a special occasion.

“After eleven seasons, I am proud and pleased with everything we have accomplished together.”

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Two La Liga fixtures remain on Barcelona’s schedule. They will host Mallorca on Sunday at 1 PM EDT in Barcelona. At 1 p.m. on June 4 in Vigo, Spain, Barcelona will play Celta Vigo in the league’s final match. From June to August, Barcelona has scheduled five friendlies.

Barcelona defender to exit after 11 seasons