Jordi Alba - FC Barcelona
New signing Jordi Alba has branded Barcelona
"the best club in the world", and believes he will benefit from lining up alongside Lionel Messi.
Fresh from winning Euro 2012, the full-back was officially unveiled at a press conference on Thursday following his €14 million move from Valencia.
The 23-year-old, who started his career at Camp Nou, was quick to heap praise upon his new team-mates, and Messi in particular, who scored 50 goals in La Liga last season.
"I'm at the best club in the world. Messi is the best player in the world and to be in the same team as Leo makes you better every day."
Jordi Alba, who scored in Spain's 4-0 win over Italy in the final of the European Championship, is also confident that he will win a starting berth in Catalunya.
"This is a big chance for me. The best players in the world are here, and it's a challenge for me to be on par with them. I'm confident that I'll fit into the team well," he added.
He also acknowledged that his ties to the area and his relationship with David Villa, another former Valencia star, had been important factors in his return.
"It's been my dream to return to Barca. I'm very emotional. It's very good to come back home to my family, my people," he continued.
"It's true that the Barca players wanted me to join. I have a great friendship with Villa. He was one of the first people to call me. He told me wonderful things about the club and the dressing room."Blaugrana
sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta outlined why the club had swooped for Jordi Alba, and denied that the new star of Spanish football would play second fiddle to Eric Abidal.
"We all have memories of his play for the second goal in the Euro final. He's a lefty, but does well with his right foot," the former Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper said. "He's very versatile, and adapts to different systems. Jordi Alba is a fast, dynamic, intense and very technical player.
"Jordi is not a substitute for Abidal. He's a player who will improve us and make us more competitive."
One possible area of contention for Jordi Alba's new employers is his possible involvement in Spain's Olympic football team.
The left-back has been shortlisted in Luis Milla's provisional 22-man squad ahead of the tournament, and there are fears he may suffer from burnout.
"Jordi has been a Barcelona player for an hour and a half," Zubizarreta added. "We'll figure out the best solution concerning the Olympics.
"We'll look at the interests of everyone, and choose the best option. Barcelona will look out for their interests in the short term, but also in the medium and long term."