Jordi Alba has vowed to fight for his place in the Spain team after former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique left the 29-year-old left back out of his first squad.
Alba was surprisingly absent from Enrique's squad for next week's UEFA Nations League matches against England and Croatia, as Spain look to bounce back from their humbling World Cup exit to Russia.
The Barcelona star provided the best possible response to being dropped with a goal and two assists as the Spanish champions thrashed Huesca 8-2 on Sunday, before speaking about Enrique's decision after the match.
Jordi Alba with two assists and a goal just two days after being left out of the Spain squad. Perfect response to Luis Enrique.— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) September 2, 2018
"I would like to be in the Spain squad but it’s up to the coach and I have to respect the decision," Alba said, quoted by Diario Sport.
"I didn’t expect to be dropped, but I didn’t expect to go to the European Championships in 2012, either, when I was with Valencia. It doesn’t depend on me if I am called up or not.
"I don’t have any problems with anyone on a professional level. It’s a decision which Luis Enrique has taken but I don’t know why I haven’t been called up.
"All I can do is respect the decisions which have been taken. I’m doing well with my club. That is my job. And if things [keep going] well, let’s see what happens with the national team."
Alba celebrated his goal against Huesca by covering his eyes, but denied that it was related to Enrique and claimed that it was dedicated to his children instead.
Alba has won 66 caps for Spain and was part of the squad that won Euro 2012, scoring his first international goal in the 4-0 win over Italy in the final.