Jordi Alba has explained that his decision to leave Barcelona this summer was motivated by no longer being able to perform at the same standard he used to.
The 34-year-old only started 14 La Liga games in 2022/23 compared to 30 the previous season, largely as a result of sharing time on the pitch with emerging talent Alejandro Balde.
Since his imminent departure was announced last month, Alba has openly said that he wanted to stay. He still had another season left to run on his contract, but that was mutually terminated and the left-back has now said he considers it to be the right thing to do.
“Whenever I have said that I wanted to stay, it was because I felt that way. Being selfish, I could have stayed,” Alba explained to Radio Marca.
“I had a one-year contract and an optional one. But assessing everything, the situation, already losing prominence on the pitch, despite the fact that when I played, I felt very good.
“I think it was the best time to leave. I think I’ve done well. You never want to leave Barcelona, but I think it was the right and opportune moment. I’m leaving happy, within the pity not to play more with this shirt.”
Alba spent seven years at La Masia in his youth, before returning to the club from Valencia in 2012. He made over 450 appearances in an 11-year period, winning 17 trophies – including the Champions League as part of a 2014/15 treble.
Reflecting on reduced game he added: “It’s been a difficult year, but I got used to having fewer minutes and I tried to help everyone, all those who play in my position like Balde and Marcos [Alonso],..and when I’ve played, I’ve been at a good level. Going into the background has not been easy. I think I have handled it with [dignity].”