Observer on Saturday - - Sport - Goal

Jordi Alba is en­joy­ing play­ing for Barcelona more now that Ney­mar has left the club.

Ney­mar departed Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Ger­main in a world-record €222mil­lion move in Au­gust, break­ing up the for­mi­da­ble MSN tri­dent he formed with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Ernesto Valverde has moved Barca away from just a three-pronged at­tack, and Alba has been one of the ben­e­fi­cia­ries - his four as­sists in La Liga this sea­son is more than any other player at the club.

And the Spain in­ter­na­tional is de­lighted with the space he gets to at­tack on the left now that Ney­mar has moved on. "He is a great player who, due to his cir­cum­stances or feel­ings or thoughts, de­cided to leave," Alba told Mundo De­portivo.


"In the end, there are still many more guys who can do a good job and I am de­lighted with the peo­ple there. "As I said be­fore, I have more space to run into and hon­estly, for me, it's much bet­ter.


"I have re­gained con­fi­dence. With more space on the left I am very com­fort­able and that is demon­strated in the field. I'm en­joy­ing it in a way I haven't for a long time."

The ad­di­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties to push for­ward have given Alba greater op­por­tu­ni­ties to link up with Messi, who has been play­ing in a more cen­tral role.

"Un­der­stand­ing the best in the world is very easy," said the left-back. "His left foot is quite good for me.

"Since I ar­rived, we have al­ways looked for each other. It is a priv­i­lege to play with him and I hope there are many more passes and con­nec­tions. "

Messi said this week he hopes to avoid Spain at next year's World Cup, a feel­ing Alba as­sured is mu­tual.

"We speak from time to time of the World Cup, of the strong­est teams," he said.

"We do not want Ar­gentina either, they are a great team, they have the best in the world and surely no­body will want a team like Ar­gentina."

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