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Jun, 14, 2013

Arbeloa to patch things up with Casillas

Alvaro Arbeloa has suggested that he and Iker Casillas should talk through the problems which have dragged over from Jose Mourinho's divisive last season at Real Madrid into Spain's Confederations Cup campaign.

Arbeloa hit the headlines after Madrid's final game of the 2012-13 campaign, when he talked about players being "selfish" and not everyone having "shown their face for Madrid" as Mourinho did.

The comments were taken in the Spanish media as an attack on Casillas' professionalism, with reports claiming that the pair were no longer talking to each other, while club and international team-mate Raul Albiol admitted their relationship was "colder" than before.

Arbeloa, however, has since suggested to radio show El Larguero on Thursday night that it is time to talk the issues through and move on.

"Of course we should talk," Arbeloa said. "This is being given too much importance and I hope it comes to an end. In life your relationships with people go through better and worse moments, but things get sorted out. I am sure that will happen here too."

The full-back said his initial comments had not been directly aimed at Casillas, but that he had just given an honest appraisal of what had been a disappointing season for everyone at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

"I do not want to speak too much about Madrid, it is better to give that a bit of space," Arbeloa said. "I simply made some declarations that I felt. I said it was everyone's responsibility, including the coach and the players, that Madrid did not achieve anything last season.

"I was self-critical and I said it began with me. If anyone was signalled out it was myself, I was not content with the season. I did not name Iker nor say anything about him, nor send him an indirect message. Too much has been made of it, we have to move on."

Arbeloa's very physical approach during Clasicos, when he and Xabi Alonso were criticised for stepping over the line with challenges on Lionel Messi, have also led to reported problems between the pair and Barcelona's national-team contingent.

The former Liverpool player said his relationship with some Spanish team-mates was "professional", but once they went out onto the pitch they all gave everything for each other.

"With some I have a professional relationship, and I am friends with others," he said. "You do not need to be friends with the 23 internationals. I have a good relationship with them all, but yes it is true that I would just go out to dinner with some. But when I go out on the pitch, I would kill for all of them. The really important thing is that we are all united when we play together."

It was not up to Spain coach Vicente del Bosque to hold a summit meeting and clear the air, said Arbeloa.

"We have not all sat down together, I do not think that needs to happen," he said. "It is not something Vicente needs to do. I have no problem, and we have a good relationship. It is not something which is damaging the national team."

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