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Mar 14, 2014

Alvaro Arbeloa eyes World Cup return

Real Madrid full-back Alvaro Arbeloa has conceded he is likely to miss much of the rest of the club campaign with a complicated knee injury, although he is hoping he can still go to the World Cup with Spain.

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It emerged last weekend that Arbeloa, 31, had picked up a problem which was first thought to require two to three weeks of rest and recovery time, with Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti telling reporters ahead of the Liga clash with Levante that the issue was not too serious.

However, the former Liverpool player has now told Yahoo! that further tests this week discovered more serious damage had been done to the affected right knee.

“The injury has been more dramatic than I thought,” Arbeloa said. “We have done some deeper tests and if all goes well the recovery period is six to eight weeks. There is a stress in the joint, and the tear in the kneecap is of two millimetres. Despite everything, I have not lost my smile and must be optimistic. I am just thinking about working to recover as quickly as possible and be back playing football.” 

The World Cup 2010 and Euro 2012 winner, who was dropped by La Roja coach Vicente Del Bosque for the recent friendly against Italy, said it was still possible he could make the final squad for Brazil.

“The first thing now is to recover 100 percent and feel good about myself,” Arbeloa said. “I want to be back for the start of May, and to be able to help the team in the last stretch of the season. I hope I am back to be able to play in a possible final of the Champions League with Real Madrid and to play at the World Cup if the coach decides that way. It would be special to play a World Cup in Brazil, but we will see what happens.”

Having picked up experience under Ancelotti’s rotation policy, full-back Dani Carvajal is now well placed to cover his absence at club level, Arbeloa said.

“I was in a good moment before this injury. Carvajal is a great player and the competition for places is good because each day you need to demand more from yourself,” he said. “The boss thought it a good idea to rotate in that position and it is giving him results.”

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