Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba has slammed critics he believes single him out in the "circus" that follows the team.
Alba spoke out after the Blaugrana's 1-0 win over Alaves on Sunday - a match he fared better in than last week's 3-2 Copa del Rey defeat to Athletic Club.
While he expressed frustration, the player also insisted he could handle the pressure that comes along with playing at Camp Nou.
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What has been said?
"I have felt singled out for many years, it is not the first time it has happened to me," Alba told Movistar+. "I accept the criticism that there is in this circus. Criticism will always be there, I have assumed it.
"If I play a good game they won't talk about me, if I don't play well like the other day, I admit it, they will kill me. I have accepted it.
"I don't care because I have respect from my team-mates and from all the coaching staff I've had. It seems that there are only veterans in Barcelona. There has been talk of veterans for four or five years, and I was 28, damn it. But I've always accepted it."
Manager Xavi, who was once Alba's team-mate, expressed sympathy for the player, saying, "Alba was criticised and he played a great game today. Just like Busi, Pique and Frenkie. At Barca, the shirt weighs 20 kilos more than at another club."
The bigger picture
Barcelona face a difficult battle to make the top four and qualify for next year's Champions League. They're currently in fifth place and are one point behind Atletico Madrid.
Even players like Alba who have won countless trophies for the club have been under fire from fans as results have been below the typical expectations at Camp Nou.
And with financial difficulties limiting transfer business, the veterans will continue to be relied upon with few potential replacements available.