Is Balde better than Alba? Squad Analysis 2023/24

Jordi Alba celebrating

In the context of football legends and rising stars, FC Barcelona is a name that resonates deeply with fans. An intriguing matchup between two talented left-backs occurred during the 2022–23 season: the promising Alejandro Balde Martinez and the iconic Jordi Alba Ramos. As we analyze their performances, stats, and contributions, the question arises: Is Balde better than Alba? Here, we delve into their strengths, weaknesses, and impact on the field.

Alejandro Balde Martinez

Alejandro Balde Martinez has emerged as a formidable force within the ranks of FC Barcelona, captivating fans with his exceptional skills and dedication to the game. As we delve into the profiling of this young talent, it becomes evident that Balde is not just a player; he’s a symbol of Barca’s future.

Early Beginnings and Rapid Progress:

Born on October 18, 2003, in Barcelona, Alejandro Balde Martinez’s journey from his hometown to the global football stage has been nothing less than remarkable. His football odyssey commenced in the prestigious La Masia, a renowned youth academy, where he honed his skills under expert guidance. With unwavering dedication, his rapid progress led him from La Masia to the Barca B team, a pivotal stepping stone in his career. His stellar performances and consistent growth caught the attention of both fans and coaches, propelling him to the ultimate goal: the first team.

Ronaldo Koeman handed him his debut against Bayern Munich in UCL on 14 September 2021.

Balde’s debut against Bayern Munich in UCL

He suffered a series of injuries that season and went unnoticeable. Whereas, the 2022/23 season was nothing short of a miracle for the 19-year-old left-back. Xavi Hernandez gave him his first start of that season against Real Sociedad. Competing for a spot alongside Jordi Alba demanded nothing but excellence. His tenacity and hard work earned him valuable playing time, and his ability to learn from Alba’s experience further accelerated his development. His overall progress has been a testament to his commitment and adaptability. As he continues to carve his path, His future shines brightly, promising continued success and contributions to FC Barcelona’s legacy.

Versatility and Commitment to the Team:

One of the most striking attributes of Balde’s playing style is his versatility. As a left-back, his ability to read the game, execute precise tackles, and intercept passes has often thwarted opponents’ advances and shines through as he seamlessly transitions from defence to offence, providing an added edge to Barca’s gameplay.

His commitment to the team’s success is admirable, even though he is not in the spotlight. His willingness to learn, adapt, and interact with teammates demonstrates a thorough comprehension of the Barcelona ethos. His humility and work ethic earned him the admiration of his teammates and fans.

But Is Balde better than Alba?
Is Balde better than Alba? Maybe or perhaps not yet...
Jordi Alba and Alejandro Balde in a training session
Playing Style of Balde
  • Balde is quick, strong, and good on the ball.
  • He prefers to carry the ball and relies heavily on his quickness and close control technique.
  • He excels in 1v1 in both offensive & defensive duels.
  • Instead of plunging into tackles, he recovers mostly via sheer pace.

Alba is perceived to be weak defensively, but Balde is stronger. However, statistics show that both have comparable defensive contributions. Balde dribbles heavily in attacking situations, but Alba times his run effectively with one-two-pass exchanges. Here’s a quick data comparison…

Alejandro Balde Stats 2022/23

LL

CDR

SC

UCL

UEL

ALL COMP

Balde

Alba

Balde

Alba

Balde

Alba

Balde

Alba

Balde

Alba

Balde

Alba

Matches

33

24

4

2

1

1

4

2

2

1

44

30

Matches started

30

14

3

2

1

1

1

2

1

1

36

20

Minutes played

2476

1419

273

210

90

79

167

147

113

67

3119

1922

Goals

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

2

xG

1.94

0.78

0.01

0

0

0.05

1.95

0.83

Assists

6

3

0

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

6

6

xA

5.39

6.72

0.16

0.98

0.02

0.07

5.57

7.77

Chances created

22

38

3

6

1

0

1

6

0

1

27

51

Accurate passes %

91

87

88

88

90

96

92

91

77

75

87.6

87.4

Shots on target

4

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

5

5

Successful dribbles

50

4

8

0

1

0

5

0

6

2

70

6

Accurate crosses

22

25

2

2

0

0

2

2

0

1

26

30

Tackles won

30

18

2

7

0

0

0

0

0

1

32

26

Blocked shots

6

5

2

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

9

5

Clearances

12

14

4

1

1

0

0

1

0

3

17

19

Headed clearances

6

6

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

7

7

Interceptions

12

11

1

3

0

1

0

0

1

2

14

17

Yellow cards

4

4

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

5

5

Red cards

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

Statistically, Balde is not better than Alba, certainly not in the last season. But his unique skills and playing style make him a force to be reckoned with on the football field. His dynamic defensive expertise, seamless transition between defence and attack, precision passing, and agile decision-making collectively contribute to his distinct identity as a rising star in football worldwide.

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