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Spain's Alba speaks up for Turkish club mate Turan

Football Soccer - Real Sociedad v Barcelona - Spanish Liga BBVA - Anoeta, San Sebastian, Spain - 09/04/16 Barcelona's Arda Turan reacts during match. REUTERS/Vincent West
Football Soccer - Real Sociedad v Barcelona - Spanish Liga BBVA - Anoeta, San Sebastian, Spain - 09/04/16 Barcelona's Arda Turan reacts during match. REUTERS/Vincent West

LA ROCHELLE, France (Reuters) - Spain left-back Jordi Alba knows his Barcelona team mate Arda Turan of Turkey is under a lot of pressure to put in a strong performance on Friday when their sides meet at Euro 2016.

The Turkey captain struggled on Sunday during a 1-0 Group D defeat to Croatia and was replaced midway through the second half, prompting him to apologise to the country's fans.

"Turan is a very important player," Alba told a news conference on Wednesday. "Barcelona made a great signing with him.

"He will be extra motivated because he knows all of our players well but I hope we can win."

Turan signed for Barca from Atletico Madrid for 34 million euros ($38.34 million) last July but could not make his first appearance until January when the Catalan club's transfer ban was lifted.

"It's true that he didn't play for several months but when he did, he did a phenomenal job," Alba said. "He is an idol in his country and every ball goes through him."

(Reporting by Cindy Garcia; editing by Clare Fallon)

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