'FIFA virus' strikes Jordi Alba and Barcelona

FC Barcelona

Jordi Alba suffered knock during Spain's clash with Ukraine, with Barcelona left cursing the 'FIFA virus' that sees stars struck down on international duty.

Five Barcelona players saw action among the 14 who featured for Spain on Friday night, as La Roja laboured to a narrow 1-0 victory against Ukraine in their Group C EURO 2016 qualifier, at the Sánchez-Pizjuán stadium in Sevilla.

In the 78th minute of the encounter, there was concern for left-back Jordi Alba, clearly in discomfort and forcing manager Vicente Del Bosque to make a hasty substitution, with the 26-year-old replaced in defence by Bayern Munich full-back Juan Bernat.

On Saturday morning, the medical services of Barcelona, as reported on the club’s official website, performed tests on Jordi Alba, diagnosing and announcing that the player has suffered a grade 1 abductor muscle injury in his right leg. The initial estimate given by his club is that he will be sidelined for approximately 10 days.

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique will now be forced to consider alternative options for the left-back slot, given that first-choice Jordi Alba is now certain to miss the next two La Liga encounters - away at Celta Vigo on Sunday 5th April, then at home against Almeria on Wednesday 8th April.

Although the Catalan side are then due to play Sevilla away on Saturday 11th April, they may choose not to risk Jordi Alba playing the full 90 minutes, as they will be mindful of having the player back in action and fully fit ahead of their Champions League quarter-final first-leg duel with PSG, scheduled for Wednesday 15th April.

Underlining how important a role Jordi Alba has played this season, he's made 23 appearances in La Liga, six in the Champions League and five in the Copa del Rey. Experienced Brazilian left-back Adriano will likely deputise in the meantime.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch