Jordi Alba has for the most part been a substitute for Barcelona this season, meaning Luis Enrique was understandably criticised when he called up the veteran for the Spanish national side. However the opening stages are suggesting that the Asturian was right to stick by his man.
Alba enjoyed an excellent first period against Costa Rica, winning a penalty and providing Marco Asensio for the second goal of the game. It will go down as two assists for Alba. He was even pulling out the tricks.
Early signs suggest Luis Enrique was right to select Barcelona substitute Jordi Alba.pic.twitter.com/fg2ElCeu8W
— Football España (@footballespana_) November 23, 2022
His performance was backed up by the numbers too. Defensively solid, a strong attacking outlet, Alba was one of the best wearing red.
🇪🇸 Jordi Alba’s first half:
• 92% accurate passes
• 95 touches
• 1 assist
• 4/4 long balls
• 75% ground duels won
• 3 recoveries
— Reshad Rahman ✆ (@ReshadRahman_) November 23, 2022
He was then withdrawn in the 64th minute for teammate Alejandro Balde.
The 19-year-old, who will hope to try and replace Alba long-term in the Spain squad, as he has done in the Barcelona team this season, is making his debut for the national side.