‘Madrid need the game of their lives’

Alvaro Arbeloa hopes to leave Real Madrid with a Champions League and La Liga double but ‘Madrid need the game of their lives’ to beat Atletico Madrid.

Arbeloa is departing Santiago Bernabeu this summer and spoke at length with Marca about his time at the club, ending with a look to the future on a personal and club level.

“I’ll keep playing, that’s clear. I love training and playing and want to continue. I have nothing, know nothing, about where I’ll be next year,” he confirmed.

“The League and Champions League would be a dream farewell. To win the Undecima [11th European Cup] against Atletico Madrid…you couldn’t ask for more or for a better ending. But it’s true the challenge is huge, we’re talking about a team in the best form, who now might be the strongest in Europe. We have to play the game of our lives, not just the perfect match, to beat Atletico.

“We’ve talked about the importance of focusing on winning both our remaining games in La Liga, and nothing else. If we do our job, we’ll see what happens. We know things can happen and anything can happen in La Liga.

“We’ll have to give the best of ourselves. Atletico are very confident, ahead of us in the table, and they’ve spent more money than us this year. I think they have to be favourites and we have to give everything to beat them.

“Hopefully winning in Lisbon [in the 2014 final] gives us an advantage. Maybe they have the anxiety that it would be very hard for them if they lost another final against us. And certainly they’ll always think about that last minute. For them it will be complicated and they definitely didn’t want us in the final.

“We know they’re a very strong team and they are very confident. It’ll be a close finish. They’ve spent many years working together and we’ve been with [Zinedine] Zidane just a few months. They have a lot of advantages, but we are Madrid.

“It’s a Champions League Final. We have 10 [European Cups] and they have more pressure because they don’t have any and they’re playing against us, and we’ve beaten them. Maybe they can increase the pressure, but in a match anything can happen.”

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