Barça’s newest signing, Jordi Abla, is very familiar with the Azulgrana Club. The ex-Valencia man played in Barça’s youth system for six years and now, at the age of 23, he has returned as an established footballer. He’s a solid left back, a gifted passer and adept at going forward.
These qualities were evident when he was honing his skills at La Masia. Alba joined Barça’s youth system in 1999, at the age of 10. His first manager was Carles Romagosa. During his time at Barça he played on teams that featured Bojan, Fran Mérida and the Dos Santos brothers. His first spell with Barça ended in 2005. He played the entire year in the Cadete B (U15) team, despite it being his second season in that age group. His small stature was a handicap in divisions where physical prowess is often important.
Cornellà, Nàstic and Valencia
The left back continued his career near of his hometown, Cornellà. In his first year as a U18 player he made his debut for Baix Llobregat. He quickly caught the eye of Valencia, who signed him in 2006. After two years playing for the Valencia Juvenil (U18) team and the reserve side, he was loaned out to Nàstic (Second Division) for the 2008/09 season. When he returned to Valencia, he slowly won the confidence of UnaiEmery and established himself in the starting XI of his team, and at the same time, the starting left back of the Spanish national side.