Alvaro Arbeloa has reflected on Real Madrid’s Copa del Rey KO at the hands of Atletico Madrid.
Los Blancos drew 2-2 with their cross-city rivals at the Santiago Bernabeu last week, crashing out of the competition 4-2 on aggregate and missing out on a quarter-final tie with Barcelona, and the defender revealed it had been hard to take.
“We were sick because it was a big blow for Real Madrid and it’s never a positive thing to be eliminated,” Arbeloa told Onda Cero’s ‘Al Primer Toque’ programme.
“Any of my teammates would pay to play against Barcelona on Wednesday. We are used to playing Wednesday and Sunday and we’ll have plenty of time to rest when we are retired.
“I don’t believe that we choked against Atletico. We beat them in the Champions League final and we’ve been beating them for 14 years, so it’s too early to say we choked.
“El Cholo [Simeone] is lucky in that he has a part of the Press on his side and it’s easier to send messages out that way.”
Arbeloa went on to acclaim Cristiano Ronaldo whilst also singing midfielder Isco’s praises after the youngster’s brilliant season so far.
“With Cristiano he goes home and continues to work. He sticks to a strict regime and thinks about being the best 24 hours a day.
“What he is doing nobody else has done. Romario scored 30 goals and everyone was left open-mouthed. I don’t know if anyone will ever repeat Cristiano’s statistics.
“Isco is no longer a player who just goes out there for a jog, a dribble, but someone who wants to make an impression and become a complete footballer. He has not been used to that.
“I tell him he should enjoy winning the ball back and at the end of the game being unable to move.
“He’s different and can do different things with the ball. He can be whoever he wants to be,” claimed the Spain international.