I have long thought that Alvaro Arbeloa was a bit of a weak link for Real Madrid, and for the Spain national side as well. He was truly awful in the recent Confederations Cup final against Brazil. Maybe it is the ease with which the new Barcelona striker Neymar turned him inside out shows exactly why Real Madrid have chosen to use the buy-back option written into his contract when he was sold to Bayer Leverkusen just a year ago.
It seems clear that Iker Casillas and Alvaro Arbeloa were not really talking at Real Madrid towards the end of the season, because Arbeloa has stated that he intends to try to clear the air with the keeper while they are on international duty with Spain at the Confederations Cup.
Arbeloa insists that his previous statement supporting Jose Mourinho and blaming some of the players for the problems at Real Madrid this season, was not meant as a slight or a specific dig at his his captain, although the media certainly saw it that way.
Real Madrid were well represented at the award gala for the FIFA Ballon D’Or yesterday. Jose Mourinho was nominated for best coach, along with Vicente Del Bosque of the Spain national team, and Pep Guardiola of Barcelona. Christiano Ronaldo was up for the main award of best player along with Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta of Barcelona, but Mourinho and Ronaldo were overlooked, as Messi won again and Del Bosque got the coach’s award.
Jose Mourinho has a serious problem to deal with after both of his left backs for Real Madrid picked up injuries during their international games. Three other players have picked up knocks but it is the left side of defence that is going to be a problem for up to three months.
Marcelo played for Brazil in their friendly against Iraq and was training for the game against Japan yesterday when he broke the fifth metatarsal in his right foot. Doctors predict that he will miss around three months with his recovery. That will take us up to the January transfer window but there is no chance of replacing him before then.
Madrid`s captain Iker Casillas played his 600th game for the club against Athletic Bilbao. This achievement is even more remarkable when you considerhe is a spring chicken for a keeper at only 31. Iker is already the most capped player for Spain , at 127 appearances. Barring disaster he will pass the 5th and 6th in Real`s alltime list this season , with Hierro at 601 and Gento at 602. It would take a brave man to bet against him reaching number 1 even though he will still need to outstrip SAntillana at 645, Sanchis at 709 and, of course, Raul at an incredible 741.