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Barca players applaud Alba signing

Barcelona's players have given new signing Jordi Alba their seal of approval, with David Villa, Pique and Xavi all speaking of their delight to the media.

Alba, 23, has been drawing plaudits for his play with both Valencia and Spain this season, and has now completed a €14 million switch to Barcelona, after a lengthy pursuit.

The Barcelona players, many of whom are long-term team-mates of Alba with the national side, have been gushing with praise for the move.

David Villa told Mundo Deportivo: "I speak regularly with Jordi. He strikes me as a good guy and he is a spectacular player that had always played as a winger until (Unai) Emery moved him to full-back and he has been incredible.

"He was also surprised at his performance because at the start he didn't like it a lot, but now he is happier as a full-back than a winger. He has spectacular offensive movement."

Pique said: "He has the Barca level and the quality to play for a big club. When we faced him he always seemed very good to me but here in the national team he is flying. He is a fantastic player. He defends well, attacks even better, knows when it is necessary to maintain his position, goes forward when it is the right time and can cross and shoot."

Xavi added: "He is a spectacular footballer and ten out of ten as a guy. Moreover, he is a local boy, he was raised with Barcelona, he is competitive, aggressive, very good defensively and sees the game very well. I have seen him play a lot and he is prepared. And when you put him with better footballers, he will be even better."

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