Álvaro Arbeloa is a happy man. Added to the joy of winning their second European Cup is perhaps the most awaited news for the Whites academy player: his contract extension of two years until 2016. The Whites’ defender does not hide his pleasure and gratefulness for the faith that the club has shown in him by extending his contract at the club where he played during his formative years: "I am more than happy. It is a pride and an honour for me to be a part of this club. To be able to extend my contract by two years, until 2016, is a source of absolute joy. I am delighted that the club has faith in me and l hope it continues".
Congratulations on the contract extension until 2016. I imagine you'll be happy ...
I am more than happy. It is a pride and an honour for me to be a part of this club. To be able to extend my contract by two years, until 2016, is a source of absolute joy. I am delighted that the club has faith in me and l hope it continues.
This confidence also comes at one of your best moments as a footballer ...
It comes at a good time. Things are going well for me and I am proud to be here. I am very happy that the club trust in me.
Your aim of retiring at Real Madrid is closer now...
It is difficult to retire at this club because of the obligations and requirements that come with it. There are always the best players in the world here and when you get older it is difficult to maintain the level. Nowadays, players are extending their careers more than before and hopefully this will not be my last contract extension with Real Madrid.
Have we seen the best of Arbeloa with José Mourinho as coach?
I have a very good feeling with the boss in charge. He has always shown a lot of faith in me. There have been times when I've played more and others that I’ve played less, but I’ve always felt the coach's confidence in me. Mourinho has managed to get the best out of me.
What has been the key to Arbeloa’s success in holding down the right back spot for Real Madrid and for Spain?
You would have to ask the boss, but I always try to give my all. We have a coach that always demands 100% in both matches and in training. He has a winning mentality and that message always comes across loud and clear. Mourinho has made me a better player and has helped me make huge improvements. I am, of course, very grateful.
As a team, what is the aim for this season?
The same as every year. At Real Madrid and we have to fight for all the titles possible. We know the difficulties involved, but last year we were really close in all competitions this season we should do the same. Clearly, the Champions League is special for the fans, but we also want to regain the league, which is the most difficult because of the consistency involved, and the Copa del Rey. Hopefully we can win those three titles plus the Spanish Super cup. We will try our best.
Titles are a requirement at this club. Do you feel the pressure of playing at Real Madrid?
There has always been a lot of pressure on this team and there always will be. Every year we will continue aiming to win titles, the more the merrier, and this campaign will be the same. Last year we were one step away from the final and this season can we can win it. I do not think there is more pressure than other years.
And the first title up for grabs is the Spanish Super cup against Barcelona...
It is a tournament that comes really early on, practically when you start the season and when the fitness of the two teams is certainly not the best. But it's always nice to fight for a title against a team like Barcelona, who are a great opponent. We hope to enjoy the match and lift the trophy this.
Finally, what messages do you have for the Real Madrid fans?
I am delighted to be in this club and I am very grateful for the affection that I get from the fans. I hope repay that appreciation on the field.
|Camiseta de Arbeloa en la tienda del Real Madrid para España|
|Camiseta de Arbeloa en la tienda del Real Madrid Internacional|