Alba: Barcelona is better for me without Neymar
Jordi Alba is enjoying playing for Barcelona more now that Neymar has left the club.
Neymar departed Camp Nou for Paris Saint-Germain in a world-record EUR222million move in August, breaking up the formidable MSN trident he formed with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Ernesto Valverde has moved Barca away from just a three-pronged attack, and Alba has been one of the beneficiaries - his four assists in LaLiga this season is more than any other player at the club.
And the Spain international is delighted with the space he gets to attack on the left now Neymar has moved on.
"He is a great player who, due to his circumstances or feelings or thoughts, decided to leave," Alba told Mundo Deportivo.
"In the end, there are still many more guys who can do a good job and I am delighted with the people there.
"As I said before, I have more space to run into and honest, for me, it's much better.
"I have regained confidence. With more space on the left I am very comfortable and that is demonstrated in the field. I'm enjoying it in a way I haven't for a long time."
The additional opportunities to push forward have given Alba greater opportunities to link up with Messi, who has been playing in a more central role.
"Understanding the best in the world is very easy," said the left-back. "His left foot is quite good for me.
"Since I arrived, we have always looked for each other. It is a privilege to play with him and I hope there are many more passes and connections."
Messi said this week he hopes to avoid Spain at next year's World Cup, a feeling Alba assured is mutual.
"We speak from time to time of the World Cup, of the strongest teams," he said.
"We do not want Argentina either, they are a great team, they have the best in the world and surely nobody will want a team like Argentina."