Josep Maria Bartomeu, Jordi Alba i Andoni Zubizarreta, a la sala París / FOTO: ÁLEX CAPARRÓS-FCB

Sporting a giant smile across his face, Jordi Alba simply couldn’t hide his joy throughout his first press conference as an Azulgrana. “I’m happy to come home, with my family and my people. I’ve realised my dream,” he said to the press with vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu and football director Andoni Zubizarreta at his side.

Bartomeu said that that the Club had been after the Jordi Alba all year and Zubizarreta added that Jordi Alba is “dynamic, deep, intense and he has excellent technical ability. He’s good with both feet, he can play in different positions and he’s enormously competitive.”

Self confidence

Jordi Alba couldn’t hide his emotion when he talked about his time he spent in FC Barcelona’s youth academy. He was visibly touched when a video of him playing on the field next to the Miniestadi played on the large screens behind the press table. The player talked about his exit from the Club in 2005 and his willpower to make a name for himself in the world of football: “no one likes to hear that they have to leave, but my conscience was clear and I left with my head held hi. I believed in myself.”

“Before I was a striker, now I’m a left back”

Seven years later, sitting in the Sala París, he knows that he’s returning to a home that he knows very well: “I’m going to play for the best team in the world and I want to adapt as quickly as possible. I know the philosophy and most of the players. I’ve changed the way I play, before I was a striker and now I’m a left back or an attacking midfielder.”

“It will be phenomenal with Vilanova”

The player said that Tito Vilanova called him after the Euro 2012 final. “When the tournament was over I talked with Tito and he congratulated me for agreeing to come to Barça. They have told me marvelous things about him and Guardiola. Vilanova is very capable, I’m sure we’ll have a phenomenal run with him.”

Alba also talked about the relationship he has with the Barça players that play for the national team: “I get along great with the Barça players. I’ve known some of them for a long time. When we were on international duty I could tell they wanted me to come to Barça.”

The player, who will play with the number 18 on his back, praised David Villa, his ex-Valencia teammate: “we were together at Valencia. He was already a star and I had just arrived and he helped me a lot. When I made my debut with the national team he was among the first to call me, and now, with my signing, he was one of the first to write me and congratulate me.”

Alba and the Olympic Games

Jordi Alba was repeatedly asked about the upcoming Olympic Games during this Thursday’s press conference. “I’ve already played in Euros and World Cups at the youth level, which means I didn’t get much vacation. I’m young and strong, but the Club and the Spanish Football Federation have to talk,” said Alba. It’s worth noting that Luis Milla has pre-selected the new Barça player for the Olympics.

Andoni Zubizarreta explained that “we’ve signed Jordi Alba for five years, not just for the summer. We’ll talk to the Federation to ensure the best outcome for the player, the Club and the national team.”

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