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Alba: Barca return unexpected

December 30, 2012

Jordi Alba has admitted that he never expected to find himself back at Barcelona, after leaving the club as a youth.

After seven years in the club’s youth system, a 16-year-old Alba was shown the door at La Masia in 2005.

However, after impressing as a converted left-back for Valencia, Barca bought back the 23-year-old this summer for a reported €14m, in a turnaround in fortune that the player admits himself was unexpected.

“When you are in the lower grades at the club it looks very difficult to reach the first team. Many people dream like you of making it and there is not room for everyone, but for some there are more chances,” he recalled to Mundo Deportivo, of his time in La Masia.

“When you leave, you realise the greatness of the club and now I am even more aware. I’ve found a team that has offered me a great deal.

“Honestly I took [Barca’s decision to release me] well. From when I was small I only thought of playing. The dream to reach the first team was there, but there was no bitterness. I really wanted to go elsewhere because I believed in me and I honestly never thought I could be coming back.

“Who can I thank for returning? The truth is that the Coaches I had in the Barca youth system helped me a lot, like Cesar Ferrando, who I relied on a lot.

“Perhaps more than anyone though, Unai Emery shaped me because he converted me at Valencia to playing as full-back and thanks to that change I am where I am today.”



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