Alba relishing attacking role for Spain

The full-back hit the opening goal against Finland, taking a step closer to World Cup qualification with a 2-0 win, much to the delight of team-mates Alvaro Negredo and Raul Albiol
Jordi Alba says he is relishing the chance to get forward in attack after scoring Spain's opening goal against Finland on Friday.

The Barcelona full-back helped la Roja to a 2-0 win to leave the world and European champions on the brink of a place at World Cup 2014.

The 24-year-old was delighted to be on the scoresheet for his country for the fifth time.

"I've been playing going forward all my life and I hope things stay that way," he told reporters. "I always like to score and today I have to thank Cesc for giving me a great pass so I could do it.

"They closed themselves up as we expected. A lot of players gathered in the middle and the wide players were able to seize the advantage, as happened with the first goal. It was an important day for us in order to go to the World Cup."

Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo sealed the points with a second-half goal and, the 28-year-old was happy to see the side continue to gel ahead of next summer.

"I'm happy to have scored eight goals in just a few caps, but mostly because we are getting better as a group. There are two games left we have to win in order to be at the World Cup in Brazil."

Napoli defender Raul Albiol was delighted at what he believes was a hard-fought victory, pointing to the 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture between these sides in March as well as France's 0-0 stalemate in Georgia on Friday as proof of the difficulties posed in qualifying.

"We saw what happened in Gijon and it was important to avoid a similar situation," said the former Real Madrid man.

"They are very difficult games to win. Nowadays it is not easy to win away from home, as happened today with France, so we appreciate the victory. It's not been at all easy."