Spanish team: Jordi Alba: “This is a team for the present and the future, but the performance must be immediate”


Jordi Alba (Hospitalet, 1989) lives some intense days after he announced a few days ago that he is leaving Barcelona. He now returns to the selection and he does it with a special illusion. Initially because the call was not expected, but, above all, because he will be the new captain of the national team.

ASK. Was it expected to enter this call?

ANSWER. In the end you always have the illusion of being called. It is true that I was not in the last call and I admit that it took me a bit by surprise. I think that when I have played I have done it at a good level and I arrived in a good moment of form. Try to do the best possible.

Q. And be the captain…

R. Yes, for games and years I have to be the captain in this concentration, but I will try to do the same thing that I did before and try to help everyone to feel good and try to perform as well as possible. It is about helping on and off the field and creating a good atmosphere in the selection. But come on, it’s what I’ve always done and continue to do.

It is a pride to be a captain, I saw it as far away and I have tried to get the best of my teammates

Q. What does it mean to you to be the captain?

R. It is representing all your teammates. You have to set an example for all of them. I am proud to be captain of the Spanish team. It is something that I saw very far away because there were many people above me, I have tried to get the best of my teammates to now act as a good captain and help everyone.

Q. Can you imagine lifting the Nations League trophy?

R. Well… Well, yes, I imagine so. It will be OK. I think we have done a great job in the previous months with a well-deserved and tough ranking. And I think there are a lot of people behind all this and now we have the opportunity to win it in two games and hopefully it can be like that.

Jordi Alba, with the Spain shirt.FRANCESC ADVANCED

Q. Does the shadow of the great team from 2008 to 2012 weigh on this team?

R. It is very difficult to play like this. Having so many players of enormous quality in the prime of their careers is very difficult. I was lucky to belong to the team that won the 2012 Euro Cup and we know that now it will be difficult, but young people are coming here with a lot of desire and who can do it very well.

Q. Is this selection a team of the present or of the future?

R. It is a selection of what the selector wants. It is for the present and also for the future, but what must be very clear is that it must have an immediate return. Here it is not worth saying that in five years he will do very well. Immediate performance is required and I think there are great players to achieve important things.

I come with great desire, it is a new opportunity for me because there were times when they did not call me and that makes me value being here a lot.

Q. Which Italy awaits us, the 2020 Euro Cup champion or the one that did not qualify for the World Cup?

R. We already know what Italy is like. It’s going to be a very difficult game because it’s a great team with great players and I’m sure the matchup will be very difficult.

Q. You won the 2012 Euro Cup against Italy and scoring a goal

R. It was 2-0, it’s a very nice memory. He came and kissed the saint. I think I had a spectacular Eurocup on a personal level, also on a collective level. That final against Italy was one of the best matches I remember for the national team. That day we were much better and I hope it can be repeated in the game next Thursday, but knowing how difficult it is and aware that now are different times.

I imagine raising the Nations League, although it will be very complicated

Q. With Bara he scored another very important one against Milan. Are Italians good for you?

R. We are talking about two similar goals. Because they both started with a kick from my own field and ended in a goal. They are memories that remain in my memory and on my retina. You always dream of repeating those moments, but it is not easy because otherwise everything would be rosy. But hopefully Thursday is similar to those games.

Q. Have you already spoken with De Jong about a possible confrontation in the final?

R. We haven’t talked about it. I am sure that if we go to the final we will face a top-level team because both Croatia and the Netherlands are. Frenkie is a phenomenon, I am lucky to share a dressing room with him and I think that he plays a great role in the selection.

Q. The national team arrives with a lot of pressure after the last games?

R. Criticism will always exist. There is a good selection and we can do things very well, although it always depends on many factors such as the circumstances or the rival. But if we leave everything on the field and people have fun watching Spain, everything will be much easier. You can win or lose, it is the law of life, but the important thing is to leave everything.

Q. Do you see continuity in the national team: Nations League, Euro Cup, World Cup…?

R. The World Cup gives me something more complicated, but I see myself with strength and there will come a time when I have to make the decision to leave the team, but that will be known. Now I’m looking forward to it, I think it’s a new opportunity for me because there have been times I haven’t gone and that has made me value the times I was much more. And this time I value it a lot again and try to do my best.

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