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What if Valencia had retained their best players in the Last Decade?

Rohith Nair
FEATURED COLUMNIST
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Full-Backs

Valencia CF v Real Racing Club  - Liga BBVA
Jordi Alba came through Valencia's youth system

The man credited with Jordi Alba becoming such an influential left-back is Unai Emery who managed Valencia between 2008 and 2012. And one of the main reasons why he is so good in attack is because Emery constantly switched him between left-back and left-wing.

"He (Emery) received critics when he played me as a full-back but he kept on doing it. Thanks to him, I'm at Barça and in the national team. If he hadn't switched my position, I wouldn't be here today." - Jordi Alba

Alba spent three years in Valencia's senior team. He particularly impressed against Barcelona when he gave Dani Alves a tough time.

The following summer, Barcelona paid Valencia €14m and signed him where he has established himself as their primary left-back ever since.

Valencia CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga
Joao Pereira (L)

At right-back is the veteran Portuguese footballer Joao Pereira. The 34-year-old's best days are probably behind him but had he stayed at the club with other players in their prime, Valencia may have had a shot at a trophy or two.

Pereira played 75 times for Valencia in two-and-a-half seasons but once Nuno Espírito Santo came to the club, he was relegated to the bench.

Substitute: Jeremy Mathieu

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