Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and now Jordi Alba makes three for Inter Miami.
The Herons confirmed signing Alba to complete one of the biggest transfer coups in recent history.
Inter Miami has now signed three of the major pieces of Barcelona’s 2015 run to a Champions League title.
Let’s look at what the Herons are getting in Alba.
Alba Closes Storied Career With Barcelona
At the end of the European season, Alba announced it would be his last in Spain.
According to TNT Sports, initial reports were that Alba would move to the money of the Saudi Pro League, but once Messi and Busquets were announced for Inter Miami, that rumor was put to bed.
As I mentioned in an earlier piece, Alba spent the last 11 seasons with Barcelona, racking up 605 matches with 37 goals and 107 assists.
On top of all that, Alba played in 93 matches with the Spanish national team and found the back of the net 10 times since 2011.
Alba won a European Championship in 2012 with Spain, but most of his success (and trophy haul) came with Barcelona.
"Jordi is an accomplished, dynamic and experienced player that we’re excited to acquire to continue bolstering our squad. He’s proven for over a decade that he is one of the best fullbacks in the sport due to both his defensive solidity and capacity to contribute in the attack."- Chris Henderson, Inter Miami
Over his 11-year career, he was part of a team that won six La Liga titles, five Copa del Ray trophies, four Spanish Super Cup titles, a Champions League title, the UEFA SuperCup and a FIFA Club World Cup.
How Alba Fits and When He Plays For Inter Miami
It might be easier to answer the last part first.
As he just signed the contract with Inter Miami — which is through 2024 with a club option for 2025 — it isn’t likely he sees the pitch Friday night against Cruz Azul.
It seems a little too soon, despite Inter Miami manager Tata Martino confirming that both Messi and Busquets will likely see action against Cruz Azul.
It is possible he could play against Atlanta United in the Herons’ next test in the Leagues Cup, or he could wait until Major League Soccer action starts again later in August.
Now, as for where he fits on the team.
Well, Inter Miami’s defense has been one big Achilles’ Heel this season.
The Herons have a goal differential of minus-14. While it’s not the worst in the league, it isn’t great. And it speaks to the struggles Inter Miami’s defense has had this season.
Clearly, Alba is an upgrade in the back.
His experience alone could trim that differential to single-digits in a matter of weeks.
He’ll also be a great addition for goalkeeper Drake Callendar to direct on the back line.
I can see Alba only making the defense better in however long his time in Miami lasts.
Will we see him Friday? Not likely. But when we do finally see Alba, it’s only going to be an upgrade to the Herons’ defense.