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Pointing the way: Jordi Alba during a training session earlier this year | MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Speaking at an event on Friday, Jordi Alba has discussed the arrival of Ernesto Valderde as the new first team manager, describing him as “a brave coach. He likes his teams to play the ball. He’s had physically strong players but has still got them playing with their feet. Players that have played under him have told me very good things”.

“The Barça style has always been the same. Perhaps we’re a bit more direct now because of the three strikers we have, the best three in the world, but we still keep hold of the ball, control it, and make sure our opponents are where we want them to be.”

Comparing it to his own arrival at FC Barcelona, the full-back says that “when I came here five years ago, people treated me very well, both players and coaches. On a human level, I have heard wonderful things about Valverde”.

And when asked about his team-mate Andrés Iniesta, Alba commented that “I hope he retires here, he’s been playing at the highest level for a long time and it’s essential for us to have him here.”

The Catalan also said that “it’s great that everyone is getting playing time, we can’t always use the same eleven. There are 23 players in our squad and they all need to feel important. That’s what wins us trophies.”

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