Iker Casillas: Every Real Madrid player deserves Alvaro Arbeloa send-off
Former Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas has praised his former club's glowing tribute to outgoing defender Alvaro Arbeloa, something which the goalkeeper was not afforded when he left for Porto last summer.
Arbeloa, 33, played his last game at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Sunday's 3-2 win over Valencia in La Liga. The former Spain international will leave his boyhood club as a free agent after the trip to Deportivo La Coruna at the weekend.
Arbeloa returned to Real Madrid from Liverpool in 2009, and made 232 appearances in his second spell with Los Blancos. The full-back helped the club win La Liga in 2012 and the 2014 Champions League. However, this season he has featured just nine times.
Sad to see him go, great player and top guy / Triste verte partir, un jugador y persona increíble! Gracias Alvaro ���� pic.twitter.com/kVko5Cl9Ts- Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) May 9, 2016
Casillas left a grand legacy at Madrid -- winning five league titles and three Champions Leagues -- but toward the end of his 25-year association with the Bernabeu his relationship with the club's hierarchy broke down to the point where he was left to conduct his own tearful news conference while his teammates were on a preseason tour.
In a post on his official Facebook account, Casillas said: "One of my old teammates, Alvaro, has finished with Real Madrid. I would like to thank him for everything he has given the club.
"Alvaro was a product of the youth academy and had to go elsewhere to prove he had the necessary quality to return and play for Real Madrid.
"Every Real Madrid player deserves this kind of send-off, accompanied by their teammates and the fans. I'm grateful for everything he has given the team and I wish him all the best ahead of this new chapter in his life."
Arbeloa has confirmed he does not plan to retire and has said he will look to play outside of La Liga.