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"If Mourinho hadn't come, Guardiola would still be with Barcelona winning everything"

"Mourinho was very important to break the Barça hegemony, that hasn't been recognised or appreciated enough", said Real Madrid defender Arbeloa.

MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 08: Alvaro Arbeloa of Real Madrid is thrown in the air by his teammates after playing his last match for Real during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Valencia CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on May 8, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.
Denis DoyleGetty Images

In an interview with beIN Sports, Alvaro Arbeloa explained much of the controversy he saw during his time at the casa blanca, including the era of the new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho.

Once again Arbeloa had kind words for his old gaffer; "Mourinho was very important to break the Barça hegemony, that hasn't been recognised or appreciated enough. If he hadn't showed up, we'd still have Guardiola at Barça winning everything", he posited.

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Arbeloa also spoke about the controversial relationship he had with Iker Casillas, with whom he shared ups and downs in the blanco changing room. "I've always tried to make my respect for Iker perfectly clear".

Arbeloa, who was given a rousing send-off after his final game against Valencia at the Bernabéu this season - a goodbye that made Casillas envious - also expressed his admiration of Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid's current manager: "Zidane has all our respect, admiration and affection. He's won the confidence of everyone at the club".

Finally, Arbeloa explained how it felt to receive such a great goodbye from the stands and from his fellow players: "It was an incredible moment, the hair stood up on the back of my neck when I saw people on their feet after Cristiano's gesture, that it was Cristiano who called for the applause when he was coming off for me was very symbolic. I think the fans know when a madridista loves the club the way they do and I think they gave me that goodbye because they appreciated that".


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