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May 9, 2014

Arbeloa: We learned quickly about Mou

Real Madrid right-back Alvaro Arbeloa has given an insight into how Jose Mourinho went about imposing his authority when he became Real Madrid coach in summer 2010.

Jose Mourinho was furious with Real Madrid's performance in the friendly at LA Galaxy in 2010.
Jose Mourinho was furious with Real Madrid's performance in the friendly at LA Galaxy in 2010.

Mourinho's time at Madrid came to a bitter end last year as he ended his final season without a major trophy amid widespread talk of dressing room unrest.

Spain international Arbeloa -- who was, along with Xabi Alonso, said to be one of the players to have retained support the Portuguese -- said the former Inter Milan manager had shaken things up when taking over from Manuel Pellegrini.

"We understood who Mou was one day at preseason," the former Liverpool defender told Spanish magazine Jot Down. "The Spanish players were coming from being the world champions and we joined up in Los Angeles. We played a game there against LA Galaxy and at halftime we were 2-0 down.

"The roars that came out of his mouth -- at everyone. He did not save anyone. We learned very quickly who Mou was. You could not imagine Pellegrini shouting like that at Cristiano [Ronaldo].

"We remembered that talk a lot. He said: 'You do not want to run? No problem for me -- the bench. You neither? No problem for me -- you're out.' It did not matter who it was -- a world champion, or Kaka, or a youth teamer."

By the end of his three years at the Bernabeu, Mourinho's relationship with even his compatriots Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe had worsened, but Arbeloa said such dressing-room issues did not affect results on the pitch.

"The relationship of Mou with some teammates had deteriorated significantly," he said. "But we were professional enough not to let that affect us on the pitch. La Liga we lost at the start of the season, but we reached the final of the Copa [del Rey] and the semifinals of the Champions League. That 4-1 [at Dortmund in semifinal first leg] just happened. It was not for managing better or worse."

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