JORDI AIMS TO PROVE HE'S NO FLOP
By Stuart James
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Jordi spent three unhappy years at Old Trafford following a £1.3 million switch from Barcelona, but after just 26 starts for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, Cruyff was allowed to leave on a free transfer.
He has since re-launched his career with Alaves and after helping them reach the Uefa Cup final, the Dutchman says he wants to reward those United fans who showed faith in him with a win against their bitter rivals.
"It is only one game but it would be very special for me to do well and help Alaves to a famous victory. From the moment the semi-finals were decided I have been fired up for this game," he said.
"To be seen by a British audience again is a great motivating factor for me. I feel I must show the English football public that here is a player that can play a bit.
"It would also be nice to reward those United fans who had faith in me with a win against their greatest rivals.
"The important thing after United was simply to play. There is no more sitting in the stands for me. I knew I had to take a step back in order to take one forward. Coming to Alaves I probably took two back, but it has worked out."
The 27-year-old fells he deserved more chances at Old Trafford and spending so much time in the stands almost killed him.
Regularly, Jordi jetted back to Barcelona to spend a few hours with his family and he admits he is grateful to Alaves coach Manuel Esnal for ending his Old Trafford nightmare.
"I've been given a second chance by a manager who believes in me. He is prepared to put his hand in the fire for me, and as a result I would do the same for him," he added.
"There is nothing worse for a player with more to give than being denied the opportunity to give it."