BARCELONA – Spain left-back Jordi Alba said on Monday that renewing his contract with La Liga powerhouse FC Barcelona until the summer of 2024 came at the perfect time as he was at the peak of his professional career.
Earlier in the day, Alba and the club’s vice president Jordi Mestre signed the contract extension that is to link the international defender to the team for another five years, with a 500-million-euro (roughly $562 million) buyout clause, according to the club’s statement.
“I am going through the best moment of my career, and continuing here was always my aim,” Alba told journalists after signing the contract at the club’s facilities in the Catalan capital.
The almost 30-year-old Alba, who has worn Barça’s jersey in a total of 282 games and won 14 titles in the club, said he was grateful to its president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, and the board of directors.
“I take care of myself much more, I have the support of my family along with the trust of the club and my team-mates,” the player said. “I am happy in all aspects of my life, and that allows me to play at the highest level.”
Having spent eight years at Barcelona’s youth academy, Alba rejoined the Catalan team in 2012 on a transfer from Valencia.
“I will be at (Barcelona) which I consider home for 20 years,” he said. “I have always felt the support of the fans, they wanted me to renew.”
For his part, Mestre, who was attending the signing ceremony, praised the player, describing him as “the best left-back in the world,” adding that it is a “very happy day for all the fans.”
Alba also confirmed that Barcelona’s fans always play a vital role in the team’s achievements and trophy-winning by supporting the squad, something that has been pushing him and his teammates to seek out more success for the club despite all the difficulties they face.
Furthermore, Alba praised Argentina superstar Lionel Messi, with whom they make a successful attacking-duo who remain a headache for their opponents’ defense.
“I hope Leo (Messi) stays; at least, during the time I stay, because I will enjoy it very much. Any player could (easily) understand him. He makes you a much better player,” Alba said.