Real Madrid fans will be saying a special farewell to defender Alvaro Arbeloa who will play his final home game at the club where he started his career.
The game at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu will be against Valencia on Sunday as the following week Real travel to Deportivo La Coruna.
The right back joined Real’s youth system as a teenager and had a brief spell at Deportivo, followed by three years at Liverpool before re-joining Madrid in 2009.
He soon established himself in the starting XI alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Benzema as an important piece of Florentino Perez’s Galactico project, and became an icon with fans for his dedication.
His great friend Xabi Alonso and home-grown talent such as Esteban Granero, Jose Callejon and Juan Mata pay tribute to the player in MARCA.
Xabi Alonso (Bayern Munich).
“Firstly he is a friend, who I trust with everything, we have shared so many things together.
“He is a player with great charisma which lifts the dressing room.
“You know he will always act intelligently and professionally, he always puts the team and the club first.
“This is one example of his commitment and I see him linked to an important role at Madrid in the future.
“He is a superb ambassador who deserves a great farewell.”
Esteban Granero (Real Sociedad).
“Alvaro is not only one of the few undisputed footballers, champions both inside and outside the country, but he is one of the few people who really know the meaning of Real Madrid’s values.
“He is one of the few who has the right to grab the team badge on his shirt, to kiss it or to call on fans to stand up and shout for the team.
“In the same way, he now has a place in Real Madrid’s history and, without doubt, the club need people like him to take part in building on their successes.”
José Callejón (Nápoles).
The name Alvaro Arbeloa sums up what it means to be from Real Madrid.
“He is a player who gives everything every time he pulls on the shirt.
“He’s very disciplined, honourable, with a unique personality and who will stand up to anyone to defend these colours and the team.
“It’s for these reasons, and so many more, that the fans admire him so much.
“He is 100% pure Real Madrid, who represents the values and principles of the club like nobody else.”
Juan Mata (Manchester United).
“I want to emphasise Alvaro’s professionalism above anything else.
“It’s an example of what it means to be a professional footballer and how to look after yourself to play at the highest level.
“This will obviously be a very special moment for him, his last game as a player at the Bernabeu.
“He’s always been very hard working and that has been a key to being picked by the clubs that he has.
“He’s also continued developing as a person by studying and preparing for the future.
“I wish him the best of luck in this new chapter of his life.”