AFP, Wednesday 24 May 2023
Jordi Alba will leave Barcelona at the end of the season after 11 years at the club, the Catalan side said Wednesday.
File Photo: Barcelona s Spanish defender Jordi Alba. AFP
“Barcelona and Alba have reached an agreement to release the player from the contract that he had until the end of the 2023-24 season,” said Barcelona in a statement.
“Barcelona publicly expresses its gratitude to Jordi Alba for the professionalism, commitment, dedication and always positive and warm treatment he has always shown towards everything that makes up the Barcelona family.”
Alba joined Barcelona from Valencia in 2012 and won six La Liga titles and one Champions League among 19 trophies with the Catalan giants.
The 34-year-old veteran Spanish left-back lost his place in the team to teenager Alejandro Balde this season.
Alba had one more year left on his contract, which expires in 2024, and Spanish reports say he will waive a significant percentage of the money due to help the club amid financial struggles.
The Spaniard follows in the footsteps of captain Sergio Busquets, who is also leaving the club this summer.
The pair will play their final home match at Camp Nou against Real Mallorca on Sunday.
Alba has played over 450 times for Barcelona, scoring 27 goals and providing 91 assists as a vital outlet on the left flank.
The defender’s recent goal against Osasuna earned Barcelona a 1-0 win and took them to the brink of the title.
He also won the 2012 European Championship with Spain, scoring in the 4-0 win over Italy in the final.
One of his finest seasons came in 2015 under Luis Enrique, when he helped Barcelona win the treble.
The left-back has been linked with a move to Saudi Arabia like Busquets and Lionel Messi, the former Barcelona playmaker who is leaving Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.
Alba joined Barcelona’s academy as a teenager before leaving for Cornella and then Valencia, returning to Camp Nou for 14 million euros ($15 million).
This article was originally published by Agence France-Presse.