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Arnold signals changes as Sydney slump again

Sydney FC

Alba to ignore concerns

Jordi Alba is set to take his place in Spain's squad for the Olympic Games despite objections from his new club, Barcelona.

• Spain pick Euros trio in Olympic squad

Alba, 23, played all 540 minutes of Spain's successful Euro 2012 campaign but, unlike England and Team GB, there was no pledge to leave players who featured in Poland and Ukraine out of London 2012.

Barca have had several run-ins over the use of their players at the Olympic Games, with Lionel Messi one of the previous high-profile cases.

"Jordi has been our player for a very short time. It is clear that we haven't signed him for a summer, but for five seasons," Barcelona's sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta told AS. "However, we are looking for the best solution regarding the Olympic Games.

"We will speak with the Federation and look at the interests of everyone to choose the best option. Barcelona has to look out for its own interests in the short term, but also in the medium to long term."

Spain's Olympic team coach Luis Milla is confident Alba will be part of the 18-man squad that begins Spain's campaign against Japan in Glasgow on July 26.

"I am very calm," he said. "The player's stance is the same as ours. I spoke with the boy and he wants to come to the Games. We are not going to yield to anyone. We will evaluate the situation but both the Federation and Alba are quite clear in their position at this time."

Senior Spain coach Vicente del Bosque also believes the Olympics would be a positive experience for Alba.

"I am in favour of him going," he said. "It will surely be the last opportunity for him to go to a Games. He has been important in winning the Euros and it would be good for him to participate with the guys of his age in this tournament."


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