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Arbeloa: "I don't want anyone trashing Real Madrid"

Logotipo de SPORTYOU SPORTYOU 11/05/2016 sportyou
Arbeloa: 'He intentado que nadie nos pisotee' © Getty Images Arbeloa: 'He intentado que nadie nos pisotee'

Álvaro Arbeloa entered the Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu for the first time in 2003. Thirteen years later, and in the same place, the Blanco defender looked back over his time as a 'Madridista' on the 'El Larguero' radio programme. "What I felt when I shut my locker for the last time was that I was at peace with myself because I had given it my all", said the 'number 17'. "I've had some very happy times here, but some rough ones too. I have particularly fond memories of the time we celebrated winning the league and racking up 100 points. The atmosphere was incredible that day. The worst was when we lost to Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals, on penalties. We had a lot of hope invested in reaching the final that year, but we lost our chance."

Your obsessions?: "I cut my nails before every game and I always put on the left sock and boot first. These routines help me to focus."

Champions League or la Liga?: "The Champions League because that’s entirely within our reach and depends only on us. As for the Liga, let's see if our friends in Granada lend us a hand."

Lucas Vázquez: "He's a great kid who has worked hard and earned everything that has come his way this season. He's told me he's going to wear the number 17 next seaosn."

Is it possible to have friends in the dressing room?: "Yes, of course. It's hard, because the football environment is a very competitive one, so it's difficult, but not impossible."

A war cry?: "1,2 and 3, Madrid! You shouldn't make it too complicated otherwise someone will forget it..."

Do you talk to your opponents much before games?: "After so many years, there's almost always someone in the other team that you've spent time with so you usually greet them."

One of your best memories of coming out of the tunnel: "Everyone remembers the first time they go up those stairs. Your heart's thumping and you feel like it is a dream come true. Then you see the stadium, and you feel really small."

Fans whistling at you at the Bernabéu: "The buzz going around the stadium when you make a mistake is imposing and you feel under pressure, but it also helps you to improve because you know the crowd always want the maximum."

Returning to the Bernabéu: "It may be that I come back as an opposing player. It would be strange, although I already did it once while I was at Liverpool, but I hadn't spent seven years here at that point. It would be strange getting changed in the other dressing room."

A game you will never forget?: "There have been many. I have a happy memory of the time I scored against Atlético and some other good performances against Barcelona. Every match has been a thrilling and unforgettable experience. Every minute on the pitch is the best thing in life."

A move you will never forget?: "As a spectator, I remember the goal that Ronaldo scored against Atlético in the first 20 seconds, when I was in the youth team or Castilla and I used to come to see games from the highest point in the Bernabéu".

Your best move?: "I've not scored many goals, but the ones I have were in the south end, where my family are always seated."

Your worst day?: "When we lost 4-0 to Alcorcón in the Copa del rey. The day I mentioned, when we lost to Bayern. Getting knocked out by Olympique Lyonnais."

His relationships with Casillas, Piqué and the press

The time he kicked Iker Casillas: "Our relationship was not going through its best moment at the time, but the injury to his hand wasn’t the cause of our fallout, that was just a freak incident during a game."

Iker's message on social media: "I’m very grateful because he didn’t need to do it. He must have been compelled to send it himself because no one would have made him."

Piqué's message: "There's another one who didn't have to say anything, either."

Do you regret the clash with Piqué?: "I’m fine with everything. I was defending my team and never disrespected Barça or their fans. I didn’t make any mistake, but if I did then I’ll continue making mistakes for the rest of my life because I wouldn’t do anything differently. I tried to be respectful and I believe I was. I will continue to stand up for Real Madrid. I don’t want anyone thrashing us. There was one time when I felt I was alone in all this, the day the press walked out on Aitor Karanka during a press conference. I shared the feelings of the club, that we should not give in to blackmail and pressure and I said so. I was hoping that the rest of my team-mates would do the same, but I felt alone."

Del Bosque and the national team

"I am very grateful to Del Bosque both for his time at Madrid and the time he has been in charge of the national team, but I was annoyed that he should have said that what I had said was out of place. All I had said was that now I was looking out for my family more. My position in the national team cannot be put in doubt. I wish Del Bosque felt familiar enough with others to tell them what he doesn't like about them in the same way that he does with me."

"La primera vez que entré en este vestuario fue en 2003; yo estaba en el Castilla" #ArbeloaenlaSER

— EL LARGUERO (@ellarguero) 9 de mayo de 2016

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