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18 July 2024

Jordi Alba to leave Barcelona after 11 years

By Reuters

(Reuters) - Defender Jordi Alba will leave Barcelona at the end of the season after 11 years with the Catalan outfit, the LaLiga club said on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old Spain international has played more than 450 games for Barcelona, winning the Champions League in 2015, six LaLiga titles, five Copa del Rey titles, four Spanish Super Cups and the Club World Cup.

Jordi Alba came up through Barcelona's La Masia academy, but left in 2005 and made a name for himself at Valencia, before rejoining the Catalan club in 2012.

"Jordi Alba, who has made the left side of the field his own in over a decade at Barca, is leaving the club as the third captain of the senior team, bringing an end to a glittering career...," Barcelona said in a statement.

"FC Barcelona would like to publicly express its gratitude to Alba for his professionalism, commitment and dedication, and his ever-positive and friendly relationship with all members of the Barca family...

"Sadly, however, it seems all good things have to end, and the curtain will be coming down on Jordi Alba's time at Barca in just a few weeks. We wish him well with his future plans, whatever they might be."

Jordi Alba made 23 league appearances this season as Barcelona claimed their 27th LaLiga title earlier this month, but a large number of those appearances came from the bench, with manager Xavi Hernandez preferring to start 19-year-old Alejandro Balde.

"Reality surpassed the dream. My main wish was always to be a player of FC Barcelona," Jordi Alba said in a video on social media.

"After 11 seasons, I am very proud of everything we achieved together. Not everything was beautiful, we have lived through complicated moments, but we go out of them always united."

Jordi Alba is the third long-serving player to leave Barcelona this season, with defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets also set to depart, while defender Gerard Pique announced his retirement in November.

The left back is the current captain of Spain and has made 91 international appearances. He was part of the squad which won Euro 2012.