Excellent news today as Barça have announced that Jordi Alba will be the first signing of the summer. The agreement with Valencia will see the 23-year-old Alba at Camp Nou for the next five years while Barça will pay Valencia €14 million. Alba of course grew up at Barça but the club let him go seven years ago when he moved to Cornellà. Valencia signed him from Cornellà for a bargain 6,000 euros before loaning him out to Gimnastic, after a year with the Tarragonese team he moved back to Valencia in 2009 and he has been making his name there ever since.
Alba has been one of the stars of Euro 2012 and it is encouraging to see him linking up so well with Andrés Iniesta on the left. With Piqué, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Fabregas and Pedro all playing important roles in Spain’s progress we can be happy that there will be a strong Barça feel to the national team’s success. It is curious watching Spain, the intricate build up play from the back is so reminiscent of Barça which makes it correct to describe it as made-in-Barcelona tiki-taka, however, the Spanish plan seems much more based on not conceding a goal and the lack of directness can be frustrating – certainly for the casual neutral fan – to watch. Let’s hope it’s a good final on Sunday and that Spain can claim a record-breaking third consecutive major trophy.