Jose Mourinho writes an emotional letter about Alvaro Arbeloa
Alvaro Arbeloa is set to play his last game at the Bernabeu today after the defender announced he would be leaving the club at the end of the season. The right-back has been a loyal servant for the Los Blancos putting in several consistent performances.
Arbeloa is a product of Madrid’s youth academy Castilla. He was promoted into the first team in 2004 but was unable to break into the starting XI. He was eventually sold to Deportivo La Coruna in 2006 in pursuit of regular first team football.
He only spent 6 months with Depor as Liverpool came calling. It was in England where Arbeloa proved his worth, turning into a fine defender. He wore the red shirt for two seasons making 66 appearances for the club before Madrid came calling.
So Arbeloa embarked on his second spell with his boyhood club and this time he became one of the regulars in the team. Arbeloa was Jose Mourinho's first choice during his reign at the club.
The two shared an amicable relationship as Real went on to win the La Liga title in 2012. Sadly his failure to win the league again next season meant the end of his tenure but Mourinho had achieved what he aimed to.
Before the Spanish veteran's last game in front of the Madrid faithful, the Portuguese coach wrote an open letter on website Marca about the kind of player and person Arbeloa is.
The former Chelsea coach stated what his relationship is with the player. “Arbeloa is a friend not just a player for me.”
The Portuguese hailed the defender as one of the best players he’s worked with. “He is an example of passion for his profession, love for his club and dedication to a working group and its objectives. He brought humility and honour to the relationship with all those who worked with him day to day” wrote the manager.
Arbeloa is definitely not one of those players who grabs the headlines but Mourinho explained what made him special:
“Arbeloa does not have that high profile, but is certainly one of those who has given Real Madrid, its fans, all of his coaches and his teammates all that he had.”
“I only have words of gratitude for him. In my 16 years of coaching I have him, surely, on the podium of the most important players with whom I have worked. He is a good player and an exceptional man.”
It would be a fitting send-off for one of the most professional players in football if Real Madrid could win the title and the UEFA Champions league but we will just have to wait and see.