Barcelona full-back Jordi Alba wanted to set the record straight about “lies” that he feels have been allowed to spread after Lionel Messi’s shock exit from the club.
Messi left the club after 21 years as the Catalan giants could not afford to renew his contract and comply with La Liga’s salary cap due to their well-documented financial problems.
There have been reports that senior players, including Jordi Alba, have refused to take pay-cuts which would have aided the club. According to AS, Barcelona and president Joan Laporta have been “annoyed” by Alba’s reluctance to lower his salary, as reported by Football Espana.
Alba addressed the speculation after featuring in Sunday’s 4-2 win over Real Sociedad and made his commitment to the club crystal clear, as reported by Marca.
“Nobody from the club has asked me for anything until two or three weeks ago. I have always wanted to help the club and I believe that nobody has to doubt me. Nobody has to doubt my love for Barça, ” he said. “I’ve been here for 10 years plus 8 in formative football. It is my home, the club of my life, and I will always help. People can think whatever they want. I can’t control that. I appreciate this question and I’m open. It would be good if you asked the president.”
The left-back also admitted he was “annoyed” by lies he had seen stretching all the way back to this summer’s European Championship tournament.
“My lawyers and agents have had conversations with the club. The deal with Piqué was closed before the rest. But I think that the desire to help the club has always been what it had to be” he added. “Lies annoy me. They tire me. I suffer more for the family, for the things they have to listen to. I have no choice but to show my face. I have been listening to lies since before the European Championship.”
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Alba Talks Messi
Alba also made it clear just how much he had wanted Messi to stay. The two players enjoyed a superb relationship together at Barcelona, and Alba is unhappy to have fingers pointed in his direction for the Argentine’s exit.
“I have heard so many things. Leo, apart from the best in history, was the one who understood me best,” he added. “Imagine the efforts I would have made for him to continue. It is not true.”
Alba penned a lengthy and emotional Instagram post to Messi after news of his departure broke. The left-back said it had been a “privilege” to play with the forward and also wrote, “you are not only the greatest player in the history of football, but you are also an exceptional human being.”
Pique Confirms More Pay-Cuts
Barcelona confirmed before Sunday’s match that Gerard Pique had agreed to a salary reduction that had allowed the club to register new signings Memphis Depay and Eric Garcia before Sunday’s win.
Pique spoke after the game and said that the club’s three other captains, Sergio Busquets, Alba, and Sergi Roberto, would also be making a similar gesture, as reported by Marca.
He added, “I’ve been in touch with the other captains and they’re going to take a reduction too. It’s just a matter of timing. That’s why I could do it first to get it done quickly and help register players. We’re a family and the captains have been keen to do this from the first moment too.”
The reductions should allow Barca to also register Sergio Aguero, although the club may still need to sell players if they want to add any more signings before the close of the transfer window.