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 rela...