Alvaro Arbeloa has revealed the close bond he developed with Jose Mourinho during the Portuguese’s time at Real Madrid.
Speaking on Spanish television programme El Hormiguero, Arbeloa was questioned on a number of topics, from the former Madrid Coach, to his successor Carlo Ancelotti and his memories of the Premier League.
“Mourinho is my friend,” Marca quotes Arbeloa as saying.
“Of course I know the Mourinho that is unfamiliar to most people. People only see his Press conferences and what he wants to show people.
“As a Coach he is very demanding but he demands more of himself and that’s very good.
“I wouldn’t have accepted it another way and I’m still here.”
Invited to compare Mourinho to his national team counterpart, Vicente del Bosque, Arbeloa admitted the two had little in common.
“But there’s not one way of doing things,” the full-back added.
“The best example of that is surely that two people as different as Mourinho and del Bosque can make it to the top.”
Arbeloa also praised his current club Coach, Ancelotti, and admitted he feels lucky to be at a club that can attract such successful staff.
“From the first minute he was here he was welcomed with open arms.
“We are fortunate that Coaches come here having done very well before.
“Ancelotti won in Italy, England and France and won two Champions Leagues.”
On the subject of this season’s La Liga title race, Arbeloa insisted Barcelona are still the team to beat despite Atletico’s good form.
“There comes a time when I do not hear what they say in the media. I don’t know if they say we’re in good form or if they criticise.
“But right now, at the most important time of the season we have arrived in our best form.
“Atletico are doing extremely well but the team to beat is Barca.”
The World Cup comes at the end of the season and Arbeloa revealed his delight at being part of the hugely successful Spain set-up.
“We have achieved things that no national team has achieved in history.
“We are proud of what we’re doing and looking forward to the summer.
“We’ve won everything and most things can’t be won again, but we have high hopes of winning and getting back on that bus and celebrating with the people.”
Arbeloa was finally asked about his pre-Madrid career, spent most notably at Anfield as a Liverpool player.
“I spent great years with Liverpool. At weekends Xabi Alonso and I still look for their result.”