Barcelona defender Jordi Alba has admitted he believes he is one of the most hated stars in Spanish football.
Alba has established himself as a Camp Nou icon following his return to the club from Valencia in 2012 under former boss Pep Guardiola.
The Spanish international has gone on to make 360 appearances in all competitions for the Catalan giants alongside five La Liga titles and one Champions League.
However, despite becoming a fans favourite during his time at the club, the 31-year old admitted his combative style has led to him becoming an opposition target.
“It is clear that if people know me through football, they would think I am one of the most hated players in football, that is clear,” he told an interview with Movistar+,” reported via Marca.
“It is my way of playing and it’s what has led me to be the player I am today and to be where I am.
“Other people know me by how I am, as a very humble person that values everything in my life.
“The player Jordi has nothing to do with the human Jordi or the Jordi with his teammates.
“Yes it’s true that the way I play is very heavy and I understand the hatred that people who do not know me can have me to me.”
Alba has remained ever present under successive Barcelona managers following Guardiola’s departure in 2012, including stepping into a vice captaincy role under Ronald Koeman this season.
Injuries disrupted his start to the season but his defensive experience has proved invaluable for Koeman in 2020/21, following key injuries to Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto at the back end of 2020.