Jordi Alba: Barcelona players fall because they get kicked

The Spain international has laughed off suggestions that they dive, while also taking the time to praise attacking team-mates Lionel Messi and David Villa
Jordi Alba has insisted that Barcelona players do not simulate fouls and only go to ground when inflicted with physical force.

Real Madrid defender Pepe heavily criticised the Blaugrana, and Andres Iniesta in particular, in the wake of last week's 2-2 Clasico draw for their theatrical behaviour, but the left-back dismissed the notion that his colleagues fall down too easily.

"We don't dive. If we fall over it's because we've been kicked," Jordi Alba said in an interview with Movistar.

The Spain international then went on to praise club-mates Lionel Messi, who he sees as the finest footballer in the world, and David Villa.

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"[Jose] Mourinho will have his opinion, but right now Leo is the best in the world and maybe ever. Cristiano [Ronaldo] is a good player, but Messi sets the bar," the former Valencia ace added.

"David Villa is in a great state of mind. He'll continue to be important for the team."

Alba also had his say on Barca's performances in La Liga so far this term, and admitted that he is surprised with his side's comfortable lead over Real Madrid in the standings.

"Nobody at Barcelona thought it possible to have an eight point lead over Real Madrid after only playing seven league games," he concluded.

Barcelona resume league action on Saturday, when they take on Deportivo La Coruna.