Lionel Messi has stated his understanding with Barcelona teammate Jordi Alba is so strong that the Spaniard ‘knows him to perfection’.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had an innate relationship with midfield metronomes Xavi and Andres Iniesta on the pitch but you’d have to say his telepathy with full-back Alba is on the same level.
Messi regularly finds the former Valencia man on the left with defence-splitting passes, with Alba returning the favour with deft cut-backs on so many occasions – back in January, Barcelona’s official website said he had provided 11 assists for him.
Their link is no natural that Messi says Alba knows when a no-look pass is coming in his direction.
“Jordi Alba knows me to perfection,” he told Catalunya Radio, via the Barca website.
Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez are two other players who connect so well with Messi – but we’re in no doubt that nothing comes close to his chemistry with Dani Alves.
During their time together at Barcelona, the duo were utterly unplayable. Messi would often drift out to the right and their one-twos and link-up play was just mesmeric to watch.
But it comes as no surprise considering the level of technical ability on show during their warm-ups prior to games. There’s one particular clip where they’re out knocking the ball about on the Nou Camp pitch before a game against Almeria and it’s wonderful viewing.
Whether they are controlling it with chest, foot or thigh, every touch is close to perfection. They’re killing the ball dead left, right and centre. It’s two artists at work and quite frankly, we could watch it all day long.