Jordi Alba admits to always looking for Lionel Messi at Barcelona because his team-mate is “the best player in the history of football”.
The pair have struck up a productive partnership at the La Liga giants, with Ernesto Valverde’s side benefitting considerably from an almost telepathic understanding.
Alba has provided five assists for Messi in the Spanish top-flight this season, while also creating several opportunities for other grateful team-mates.
The flying full-back is proving to be a useful asset, but he concedes that his job is made easier by the presence of a global superstar alongside him.
“Whenever I have the ball, I always look to see where Messi is,” Alba told reporters following a 2-0 victory over Villarreal in which the Argentine was once again among the goals.
“He scores so many times, he is a very important player in our team and he is the best player in the history of football.
“This win was very important for us in our ambitions so we are extremely happy; we put a lot of work into this so the victory is pleasing.”
Alba teed up two chances for Messi in his latest outing and despite both going begging, Barca boss Valverde was also quick to talk up the budding chemistry between the duo after the game.
He said: "Jordi Alba-Messi connections are life insurance for the team.
"It's one of our weapons and we use it very well. They understand each other well in attack and the arrival of Jordi Alba is so unexpected by the rival that it helps us a lot."
Barca remain unbeaten in La Liga competition this season, with a five-point lead held over the chasing pack after 15 games – with defending champions and arch-rivals Real Madrid eight points off the pace.