Former Real Madrid and Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa says his decision to retire is down to motivation, rather than a physical issue
Alvaro Arbeloa says he is no longer motivated in football and does not want to continue playing only for money in China or the United States, having announced his retirement.
The 34-year-old has called it quits after a career that saw him win the World Cup and two European titles with Spain, as well as two Champions league crowns and La Liga as part of eight trophies with Real Madrid.
Arbeloa also represented Liverpool, Deportivo La Coruna and West Ham, for whom he only played three Premier League games last season prior to being released.
“Many people have encouraged me to continue, saying that I have the physique to continue playing, but it has been more of a mental issue,” Arbeloa said to Marca.
“For me, football has been about fighting day by day, competing. Going to training in order to give your all, going in on your day off.
“The option to continue playing in China or the United States doesn’t interest me. The time has come to say enough because what is being presented to me now is not what I like about football.
“I always thought that I would continue playing until my legs held out, but in the end it was a head and motivational issue. Things this season did not pan out as I had dreamed and I am being honest with myself when I say goodbye.
“When I ask myself what I’m going to do, I understand that I do not want to continue playing for money, I do not want to take my family away again, so I had nothing that motivated me.”
A wonderful career. pic.twitter.com/AEnTZ33Dqt
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) June 24, 2017
On bowing out at the same time as former Madrid, Liverpool and Spain team-mate Xabi Alonso, Arbeloa said: “He retired well, by the front door! He has done it whilst still playing to a great level.
“I’m happy because it ended like he always wanted. He was fortunate that going back to the Bernabeu wearing a rival shirt [Bayern Munich], he could take the ovation, it was something very special. He has understood my decision better than anyone else.”
And Arbeloa is available should Madrid want him to fill a non-playing role at the club.
“Madrid know that I’ll be there whenever they need me because it’s my home, the club of my life,” he said.
“But I will never call to ask. They know they can count on me.
“Many people think that I would be a good spokesman to protect the club. I’ve always tried to defend Real Madrid and to do so I think you shouldn’t be afraid of certain consequences of doing that.”