Jordi Alba’s €14m transfer to Barcelona that was completed on Wednesday has taken the number of Barca players in the current Spanish squad to eight and he has been welcomed with open arms by another new team-mate who did not make it to the European Championship.
David Villa missed out on Vicente del Bosque’s squad after failing to recover in time from breaking his fibula in December but he has been impressed by his former Valencia team-mate’s progress after only one season of playing as a left-back.
He told Mundo Deportivo: “I speak regularly with Jordi, he strikes me as a good guy and he is a spectacular player that had always played as a winger until (Unai) Emery moved him to full-back and he has been incredible.
“He was also surprised at his performance because at the start he didn’t like it a lot, but now he is happier as a full-back than a winger. He has spectacular offensive movement.
“Moreover, he maintains his position defensively and can do a great deal of damage to the opponent’s defence despite starting from so far away. He is a player with incredible physical conditions. He is very young and still has a great trajectory ahead of him.”
Villa’s sentiments were echoed by a number of Alba’s international and now club team-mates after another sterling performance in Spain’s semi-final victory over Portugal.
“He has the Barca level and the quality to play for a big club,” said Gerard Pique. “When we faced him he always seemed very good to me but here in the national team he is flying, he is a fantastic player.
“He defends well, attacks even better, knows when it is necessary to maintain his position, goes forward when it is the right time and can cross and shoot.”
Xavi is also a fan of the 23-year-old who had been part of the Barca academy until he was released by the club in 2005.
“He is a spectacular footballer and 10 out of 10 as a guy. Moreover, he is a local boy, he was raised with Barcelona, he is competitive, aggressive, very good defensively and sees the game very well.
"I have seen him play a lot and he is prepared. And when you put him with better footballers, he will be even better.”