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World Cup 2014: Player profile - Jordi Alba, the Spain defender

Counting down the 100 players to look out for in Brazil this summer

The World Cup in Brazil is coming into view and everyone is hoping this summer's carnival can take its place among some of the great tournaments of the past, but who will be the star of the show?

With 76 days to go until things kick-off, check out our latest instalment of 100 players to look out for at the competition below.

76. Jordi Alba (Spain)

The Barcelona and Spanish left-back is a prime example of how the role of a wide defender has changed this Century with his searing pace making him a viable attacking threat for both club and country. Since moving to the Nou Camp from Valencia in 2012, he’s been a constant starter for them as well as the national side.

Having made his entrance on the international scene in 2011, he was not part of Spain’s 2010 triumph and will therefore have the added hunger of wanting to taste success in the world’s biggest football tournament. That said, he has a wealth of experience for the national side nowadays after playing every game of Euro 2012, scoring the crucial second goal in the final against Italy that contributed towards a comfortable 4-0 win – and a third consecutive major trophy for Spain.

He also netted a brace in Spain’s 3-0 win against Nigeria in last summer’s Confederations Cup, yet again displaying the threat he poses in the opposition’s half. With that in mind, he will undoubtedly venture forward frequently in Brazil looking to notch his first World Cup goal. You certainly don’t hear that often when you’re discussing a defender.