Originally written February 13, 2013 on O-Posts:
There were few surprises when Spain retained the European Championship this summer but one player, not as well known, really stood out. Jordi Alba, who had signed for Barcelona prior to the tournament, put in some stunning displays during the early rounds and confirmed his growing reputation by scoring one and assisting another in the final. Whilst many of the watching masses were not overly familiar with the marauding left back many Spanish football fans were only too well aware of his potential. Having begun his career as a left midfielder at the now infamous La Masia youth set up at Barcelona he was released and was picked up by Valencia. It was only during his second full season that the then manager Unai Emery deployed him at left back. Neither the player nor the club looked back after that decision and his form there last season caught the eye of his boyhood club. Having had such a successful Euro 2012 it was thought that Alba’s transition into the Barcelona side would be relatively straight forward but nobody quite predicted the almost seamless impact he has made. The understanding that he has displayed with his team mates is quite stunning at times and like most high level sport when done to the highest level it looks effortless. His link up play with Andres Iniesta verges on the telepathic at some stages and considering they have only played together for six or seven months it is staggering. Making that change from left midfield to left back has without a doubt enhanced his career. As a left midfielder he was a promising player who with sound technique and pace to burn would have been a very good Spanish league player. However, with those attributes allied with a good football brain and someone who is naturally a good defender the outcome has been wonderful. Whilst the Barcelona side have been lauded by everyone over the last few years one aspect of their side has remained an issue; their defence. With Eric Abidal sidelined because of injury it was essential that the club secured a very good replacement. When you also consider that Daniel Alves’ form has been variable it became even more important. What is so impressive about Alba is that his defensive abilities are naturally very good. Many full-backs in the modern game rely on pace alone to enable them to nullify their opponents but the Barcelona left back has great positional sense. In a role that requires him to spend most of his time attacking the balance he has managed to achieve this season deserves a lot of credit. There are very few players in Alba’s position that can currently rival his form and long term potential. It certainly appears that Barcelona have pulled off another wonderful deal in bringing back ‘one of their own’. With major trophies up for grabs again it could round off a wonderful year for Jordi Alba and few would argue against him deserving the accolades.   Written by Andy Hunter Follow Andy on Twitter @hunter67980 Please like O-Posts on Facebook You can follow O-Posts on Twitter @OPosts

Giants shut out Pirates, advance to NLDS

Cowboys' Spillman accused of rape at team hotel

Report: Patriots benched WR for mouthing off to coach

Jose Bautista busts up reporter over Twitter

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Larry Donnell benches himself in fantasy, loses because of it


Josh Gordon says NFL’s drug policy is harrassment

Steve Smith: Ron Rivera hid in his office after cutting me

Rondo hoping for an opening night return from broken hand

Jon Gruden on Raiders job: 'I'm not thinking about coaching'

Tom Brady defends not congratulating Garoppolo on TD

Ohio State student who ran on field loses full scholarship

ESPN reporter announces she has breast cancer

Byron Scott explains why Kobe wouldn't make a good coach

Hibbert texts Duncan for advice on being like Spurs

Belichick repeats moving 'on to Cincinnati' during presser

Donald Sterling’s wife called the cops on V. Stiviano

WATCH: Mayweather shocked someone doesn’t know who he is

Who is the new face of MLB?

NHL 15 predicts the LA Kings win the Cup again

J.J. Watt buys his mom a new car for her birthday

Ranking the NFL coaches already sitting on the hot seat

WATCH: Smith tells Panthers to go home and mow his lawn

The best games on the NFL slate in Week 5

Soccer News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Cowboys player accused of rape

Scott: Kobe would not be a good coach

Pats WR benched for mouthing off?

Sammy Watkins calls out EJ Manuel

Donnell benches himself in fantasy and loses

Gordon: Drug policy is harrassment

Who is the new face of baseball?

Steve Smith blasts Panthers coach, GM

What will the A’s look like in 2015?

All-Disappointment Team in MLB

Ryan Lochte: Phelps made dumb decision

WATCH: Brett Favre in new commercial

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.