Jordi Alba Ramos (born 21 March 1989) is a Spanish professional footballer who plays for FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team. Mainly a left back and a player of great speed, he can also operate as a left midfielder.
Born in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona, Catalonia, Alba started his career in the youth ranks of FC Barcelona, but was released by the club in 2005. He then joined neighbouring UE Cornellà and, after almost two years, departed in a €6,000 deal to Valencia CF where he finished his football education.
After helping the reserves earn promotion from Tercera División in 2007–08, Alba made his professional debut the following season, playing on loan at Segunda División club Gimnàstic de Tarragona, where he performed consistently (22 starts).
After returning to Los Che, Alba made his La Liga debut on 13 September 2009, in a 4–2 win at Real Valladolid. He then started in two consecutive UEFA Europa League group stage matches, against Lille OSC and SK Slavia Prague (both 1–1 draws, respectively away and home). Due to continuing injuries in Valencia’s defensive sector, he played much of 2009–10 as a left back, posting overall good performances; in that position, on 11 April 2010, he scored his first goal for the club, in a 2–3 away loss to RCD Mallorca.
In 2010–11, still with Unai Emery in charge, Alba was used almost exclusively in the defensive sector, battling for first-choice status with Frenchman Jérémy Mathieu. He contributed with 27 league games as the team again finished third, with the subsequent qualification to the UEFA Champions League.
On 28 June 2012, Alba signed a five-year contract with Barcelona for a transfer fee of €14 million. He made his official debut on 19 August, playing the full 90 minutes in a 5–1 home win against Real Sociedad.
Alba scored his first goal for the Blaugrana on 20 October 2012, netting the opener in a 5–4 win at Deportivo de La Coruña, and scoring the last one through an own goal. In the following game, at home against Celtic for the Champions League group stage, he found the net in the 93rd minute for a 2–1 triumph.
Alba represented the Spanish team at the 2008 UEFA European Under-19 Championship, as well as appearing in all four games as the nation won the gold medal at the 2009 Mediterranenan Games. He was also part of the squad at the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Egypt.
Alba received his first call-up to the full side on 30 September 2011, for the last two UEFA Euro 2012 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Scotland. He made his debut in the latter game on 11 October, a 3–1 win in Alicante in which his cut back from the left wing provided the assist for the opening goal, scored by former Valencia team mate David Silva; his impressive debut confirmed his status as a strong candidate to be the long-term successor of Joan Capdevila as the regular left back for La Roja.
Alba has now represented Spain at the 2014 World Cup, UEFA Euro 2012 and 2016; winning the World Cup and the Euro 2012.