How Jordi Alba became Messi’s main wingman

first_imgUEFA Champions League Barcelona’s new Dani Alves: How Jordi Alba became Messi’s new main man Ben Hayward Last updated 1 year ago 17:10 12/5/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) Lionel Messi Jordi Alba Barcelona Getty Images UEFA Champions League Lionel Messi Barcelona v Sporting CP Barcelona Sporting CP Opinion The Spain left-back has struck up a great understanding with the Argentine in 2017-18 which is reminiscent of the forward’s link-up with the Brazilian Lionel Messi has a new assistant. For so many years, the Argentine’s association with Dani Alves was a big feature of Barcelona’s play. This season, however, he has found an ally on the other side: Jordi Alba.Alves left Barca in the summer of 2016 after eight seasons at Camp Nou, but the Brazilian (who is now at Paris Saint-Germain) remains the player with the most assists for Messi at the Catalan club (42).For much of that time, Messi operated down the right and it was on that flank where he and Alves built up a memorable rapport, which carried on even when the Argentine moved into a central role. And the two men would warm up together before games in a routine which became a favourite for fans arriving early. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Over on the other wing, Alba’s role has always been to attack as well as defend. The Spain full-back was signed by Barca (where he had come through the youth system years earlier) from Valencia and his forays down the left are a weapon for both club and country.This season, though, Alba is more of a protagonist than usual. The 28-year-old has more assists than any other Barca player in La Liga (five) and four of those have been for Messi. The other one was against Celta on Saturday, when the two men combined to set up Luis Suarez for their side’s second in the 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo.Jordi Alba assists for MessiIn the previous round of the Primera Division, Messi also picked out Alba’s advanced run down the left and the Catalan produced a fine finish on the volley to secure a point for Ernesto Valverde’s side at Mestalla.Prior to that goal, Alba had only been assisted twice previously by Messi: against Elche in the Copa del Rey in 2015 and versus Sevilla in the final of the cup competition at the Vicente Calderon in 2016.In the meantime, the left-back had provided only six assists for the Argentine before the current campaign, all of those in La Liga. And the last of those was a very significant one indeed as it led to Messi’s last-gasp winner at the Santiago Bernabeu in a memorable 3-2 victory over Real Madrid last April.Neymar missed that match through suspension and the Brazilian left Barca over the summer to join Paris Saint-Germain. In his absence, Alba is afforded extra space to attack down the left – especially with Barca playing 4-4-2 much of the time this season and summer signing Ousmane Dembele currently sidelined.”Neymar is a great player, but due to circumstances or feelings, he decided to leave in the end,” Alba said last month. “But I am thrilled with the players we have here. I have more of the wing to attack [now]. Honestly, for me it is much better.”Messi Jordi AlbaMessi Jordi AlbaAlba is also happy to be working with Valverde following friction with Luis Enrique when he was left out of the team for a run of games last season and he said: “I am delighted with him. His communication with the players is excellent and that helps us to all play together as one.”However, part of collective success includes individual brilliance and also little link-ups and partnerships all over the pitch, like his with Messi.”To build an understanding with the best player in the world is easy,” Alba said. “His profile with his left foot is good for me. Ever since I arrived, we have looked for each other [on the pitch]. It’s a privilege to play with him and let’s hope there are many more passes and connections.”For his part, Valverde said of the pair’s link-up: “Jordi is a player who reads the space and Messi has a peripheral vision that is out of the ordinary, to be able to find him with the ball when he gets into position. We are taking advantage of them and it is one of our strengths.”He is right about that and Alba’s attacking qualities have helped Messi and the team to create and also score goals this season. So while Neymar and Alves may both be at Paris Saint-Germain, Messi has another main man these days – and Barcelona, leading La Liga and unbeaten in the Champions League, are doing just fine.last_img read more

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NWC to Receive Equipment for Reading of Water Meters

first_img The handheld computers currently being used by the NWC came to the end of their product-life last year Cabinet has approved a contract of just over US$1 million to Spatial Innovation Limited Story Highlights Cabinet has approved a contract of just over US$1 million to Spatial Innovation Limited for the supply and maintenance of 250 multi-functional handheld computers to be used for reading water meters.This was disclosed by Minister with responsibility for Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, during a Jamaica House press briefing held on Wednesday, September 18, at the Office of the Prime Minister.Ms. Falconer informed that the handheld computers currently being used by the National Water Commission (NWC) came to the end of their product-life last year.In the absence of the handheld meters, the readings are being recorded on paper and then processed.She said the manual process is inefficient, prone to errors, and lacks the management controls the handheld computers provide.The maintenance portion of the contract will run for five years. The manual process is inefficient, prone to errors, and lacks the management controlslast_img read more

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PM willing to improve small biz tax plan but wont abandon in

first_imgKELOWNA, B.C. – Justin Trudeau insisted Wednesday that his government won’t back down on a controversial plan to end tax provisions that it says give some wealthy small business owners an unfair advantage.The prime minister delivered that message as he kicked off a Liberal caucus retreat, pre-empting backbenchers who’d come poised to press for changes to the tax plan after being inundated with complaints over the summer.“I want to be clear,” Trudeau told the assembled MPs.“People who make $50,000 a year should not pay higher taxes than people who make $250,000 a year.”While he signalled a willingness to adjust the proposed tax changes, Trudeau was adamant that they won’t simply be abandoned in the face of a mounting backlash from doctors, lawyers, tax professionals, shopkeepers and others who’ve incorporated their small businesses in order to reduce their income tax bill.“We are always open to better ways to fix that problem but we are going to fix that problem,” he said.The backlash has been growing since mid-July, when Finance Minister Bill Morneau released a controversial, three-pronged plan to end tax provisions used by a growing number of small businesses, creating what he called an “unfair playing field.”One change would restrict the ability of incorporated business owners to lower their tax rate by sprinkling income to family members in lower tax brackets, even if those family members do no work for the business. Another would limit the use of private corporations to make passive investments in things like stocks or real estate.The third change would limit the ability to convert a corporation’s regular income into capital gains that are typically taxed at a lower rate.Morneau insists the plan will affect only those who earn $150,000 or more and who still have money to shelter from tax after maxing out their RRSPs and tax-free savings accounts.Morneau stressed Wednesday that the government is still consulting on the proposals and is prepared to make some adjustments to avoid any unintended consequences.“We know that we need to get more information before we can actually come to conclusions,” he said.However, he ruled out extending the Oct. 2 consultation deadline, as urged by Canadian Chamber of Commerce president Perrin Beatty.Morneau did try to reassure the Canadian Medical Association, which has warned that the proposed changes would disproportionately impact young female doctors who rely on the tax measures to be able to afford to take maternity leave.“We have a commitment to making sure that the work we do for Canada includes a focus on how we can have a really great performance for women in the economy, that we deal with issues around differences in pay, that we deal with differences in terms of how women can be successful,” Morneau said.“So nothing we will do will in any way jeopardize that. We’ll look at all these measures to make sure they’re not in any way causing (a) challenge for women.”Ginette Petitpas Taylor, the new health minister, said she intends to meet soon with CMA president Gigi Osler to discuss her concerns.“No decisions have been made at this time,” she said. “We’re really open to listening.”Behind the closed doors of the caucus retreat, MPs aired the concerns they’ve heard from their constituents about the reforms. Insiders said views were mixed, with some backbenchers wanting to ditch outright one or more of the proposed changes and others seeking only a few tweaks.Stephen Fuhr, whose riding encompasses Kelowna, said he’s satisfied that the government is listening to its backbenchers.“They’re absolutely open to hearing from all of us,” he said. “That’s our job to deliver the message and it’s their job to compile the data to come up with the best policy to serve all Canadians and I’m convinced that they’re doing that.”Despite the firestorm around the proposed tax changes, the Liberal government is riding high in the polls and the economy is rebounding. Backbenchers report their constituents are relatively satisfied with the government’s performance as it approaches the mid-point of its four-year mandate.But Trudeau urged Liberal MPs not to spend time patting themselves on the back over the government’s accomplishments so far, warning that there’s plenty of heavy lifting ahead.“As we come up on the halfway mark of our mandate, I think it’s fair to take a moment to look back and consider all that we’ve been able to achieve so far,” he told the caucus.After a brief pause, he added: “So, there, that was your moment … What we need to do now and every day is focus on the hard work that lies ahead.”last_img read more

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