Jordi Alba talks ter Stegen, Busquets, Xavi, Real Madrid, Spanish Super Cup final
Barcelona will be going face-to-face with arch-rivals Real Madrid on Sunday in the finals of the Spanish Super Cup.
The Catalans earned their place in the finals on Sunday after getting past Real Betis in the semi-final in a tightly-contested encounter via penalty shootouts.
Ahead of the game, defender Jordi Alba interacted with the club’s official media during which he discussed the match against Real Betis as well as the upcoming final, while also lavishing praise on some of his teammates like Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Talking about the upcoming final and the chance of winning a trophy, the veteran left-back said: “We are very happy to have reached the final again. This generation has yet to win a title at Barça and this will be a special final. I can see that the fans are really looking forward to it and we hope that we will win.”
On how the team played against Real Betis, who made them work hard, especially in the second half, Alba said: “We suffered too much. In the second half, we didn’t dominate the ball, we made things difficult. But we got through. It is certain that we will have to give our best version against Real Madrid if we want to win.”
Marc-Andre ter Stegen was one of Barça’s best performers on Thursday night against Real Betis, as he made several top saves during the game. The German international was also at hand to deny two spot-kicks in the shootout which earned the Catalans their victory.
Hailing the German, Alba said: “Ter Stegen showed that he is the best in the world. He played exceptionally well, not only in the penalty shootout but also in regular time. This is what a Barça goalkeeper should be.”
However, he cheekily added: “I score a few goals against him in training.”
Talking about the prospect of facing arch-rivals Real Madrid in the finals, Alba added: “In these Clásicos it doesn’t matter how you get there. Yesterday we went to penalties, and so did they.
“We have two days to rest and hopefully we can lift a title that we want so much and that would be a turning point for us and the fans.”
“We have the opportunity to do it against a great rival and I see the team motivated, with a lot of desire. We are in a good dynamic and hopefully, we can lift the first title of the season,” Alba added.
Further speaking of what it means to play an El Clasico and win it, the left-back said: “A Culé like me, who has been at the club for 18 years, I have already experienced this match many times, of course, it is special. It will be a beautiful, intense match and we hope to win and present the cup to the fans.”
It must be remembered that Barcelona were eliminated by Real Madrid at the semi-final stages of the Spanish Super Cup last season. And Alba hopes that things turn out differently this time out.
“What matters is winning. We played well that day, it was a very good match, we regained the feelings we lost a long time ago. But what matters is winning, and we hope it will be different this time,” he stated.
On the direction in which the team was headed under manager Xavi, Alba said: “Xavi has brought great enthusiasm and we are on the right path.”
Finally, Alba insisted that his long-time teammate Sergio Busquets deserves to win his first title as the captain of the club, as he said:
“He deserves it for the career he is having. He deserves it and I hope he continues like this for many years to come. He’s already looking forward to his first title as captain and let’s hope it will be on Sunday.”
“Busquets is a legend of the club, only special players reach 700 games, he is a role model,” the defender added.