Lionel Messi names his new best mate at BarcelonaSeptember 20, 2018
Lionel Messi reckons that he shares a “special connection” with teammate Jordi Alba at Barcelona.
This season, the Argentine superstar is playing for the first time in his 18-year Barcelona career without either one of his long-time colleagues Andres Iniesta and Xavi Hernandez.
The Spanish midfield duo both left the Camp Nou, with Iniesta going to Japanese side Vissel Kobe this summer, whilst Xavi has spent the last three years in Qatar with Al Sadd.
“Andrés and Xavi are unique,” Messi told the club website.
“They made the game more colourful and brought more possession.”
Although it hasn’t taken Messi long to find a new best friend at Barcelona now that the club’s legendary playmakers are gone.
When asked who he is most in sync with now, Messi replied:
“Jordi Alba knows me to perfection.
“He knows when I will give him a no-look pass. I have a special connection with him.”
Like Messi, Alba had been a part of Barcelona’s La Masia academy, but they released him in 2005 after deeming him to be too small.
After being signed by Valencia almost two years later, Alba slowly made a name for himself and excelled under now-Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
Barcelona then re-signed the left-back in 2012 and he replaced Dani Alves as Messi’s assist man last season.
Alba assisted the Argentine eight times across all competitions with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner himself even repaying the Spaniard on the odd occasion.
Many people felt that fellow South American Luis Suarez would be the person most likely for Messi to be closest to at Barcelona now.
“He brings a lot to me and to the rest of the team,” Messi said of Suarez.
“He leads us in creating pressure and provides strength to all of us.”
Messi has put his struggles from the 2018 World Cup behind him by getting off to an impressive start to the new season with Barcelona.
The Argentine international has managed four goals and two assists in the Blaugrana’s opening four La Liga games.
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