Alba relishing surprise return to Spain squad

football14 June 2023 12:16| © Reuters
Jordi Alba © Gallo Images

Jordi Alba’s career might be at a crossroads after being released by Barcelona but he is relishing his surprise return to the Spain squad for this week’s Nations League finals.

The 34-year-old full back, who has 91 caps, last played for Spain at the World Cup in Qatar and his international career looked at an end after he was left out for new coach Luis de la Fuente’s first two games in charge in March.

"The decision I make about my future will not depend on whether or not I can come to the Spanish team. The coach has seen what I can do and picked me and I see myself capable of continuing for more years. It is always a delight to be here with the national side," Alba told a press conference on Wednesday.

"I value this call-up. I’ve come to help and I'm convinced that things will go well."

Spain play Italy in Enschede on Thursday in the second semifinal, preceded by Wednesday’s clash between the Netherlands, who are hosting the four-team tournament, and Croatia in Rotterdam.

"What I see is very positive. From within we are very united. It is a very nice tournament to play and hopefully we can win it," Alba added.

Alba skirted questions about his next club destination.

"As you know I don't have a team and I'm not worried about being here without a team. It is a decision that I have to make with my family," he added.

Alba played less than half Barcelona’s league games this season, leading to the suggestion he was nudged out at the financially-troubled club despite 11 successful seasons that which included six LaLiga titles and a Champions League victory in 2015.

Spanish media reported he had been approached about a potential move to Major League Soccer to join Lionel Messi at Inter Miami. Alba also been linked with Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan and clubs in Saudi Arabia.