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Álvaro Arbeloa at XLSemanal

May 6, 2012

An interview with Álvaro Arbeloa appears in this weekend’s XLSemanal magazine (there’s also an interview with Mou in ABC, working on it), and it’s a good one, because Álvaro, as the image of Gillette, is asked questions about his own beauty routine, and that of his teammates… Don’t miss what he and Raúl Albiol say about Sergio Ramos!  It’s hilarious!

I love the photo on the right…

“Whomever has not faced adversity does not know his own strength.”  That’s how Álvaro Arbeloa expresses himself on Twitter, and it’s also his life philosophy.  Álvaro is a 2.0 version of a traditional hero.

You’re already “Spartan,” Robocop, Rocky… and now you’re also “Hombre Lija” [the name of his Gillette campaign].

It’s just that in the Madrid locker room, we’re always clowning around and we love giving each other nicknames (laughs).  Those nicknames came about because my teammates like to exaggerate and they told me that I take care of myself too much.  I usually go to the gym for 20 minutes each day.

And that’s a lot of time for them?

What happens is that they’re a bit lazy.  They train and then they go home, and so when you do an additional three sit-ups, they think you’re Rocky and so that’s what they called me.  [Jajaja!!!!]

Have you ever been denied a kiss for having a three-day-old beard?

My wife has complained before, but she’s never denied me a kiss, nor has my daughter Alba, who’s two.  Sometimes it takes some effort with her, but it’s not because of the beard, since I’m always clean shaven.

Do you believe football has improved now that the locker rooms smell more like cologne than liniment? 

Ours smells like liniment before training sessions and cologne afterward.  We have everything.  This is because they’re very fussy about their appearances, especially Sergio Ramos.  Albiol always says that he looks more like he’s going to walk the runway in Milan than exit the Bernabéu.

Does he really take care of himself that much?

The man does his hair, he showers, he puts on his creams… and that’s before going onto the field, so imagine what it’s like afterward.  I already told you that we love to exaggerate.


You have millions of followers on Facebook and Twitter.  Do your defensive skills help when you’re attacked?

In fact, I have many teammates that don’t want to join social networks because they’re afraid of these people who love to criticize.  But I’m lucky because I receive many messages of support, both in good moments and bad.  There are also trolls, but you have to know how to fight with them.  I don’t usually answer, I prefer to report them as spam.

But sometimes you can’t stay quiet…

Yes, but there aren’t many times, and I prefer not to enter into the trap because I believe that’s what they want.  We especially notice this after big games.

You liked the image of a Spartan so much you made it your profile picture on the Internet.

That was because of the World Cup.  My brothers are so geeky so they like everything to do with the movies and TV series, and I was stuck with this image from the movie 300 and its protagonist, Leonidas.

What do you think your hero Leonidas would say if he saw you using a heat-activated exfoliator?

He’d throw me directly into the pit (laughs).  What happens is that we’re in the 21st century.  Men have evolved and you have to take care of yourself in all aspects.  I would be a Spartan 2.0.  Although I have to say, I’m not one to use exfoliators, I use moisturizers more.

What is the hardest battle you’ve fought as a footballer?

It could possibly be that one we are waging against Barça.  That is perhaps the biggest challenge I’ve faced: overcoming a great team like this one.  We’re immersed in that and hopefully we can achieve it.

Do you believe the time has come to break the hegemony of Barça?

Of course.  I believe it’s our moment.  I would tell them this phrase from Gladiator: “the time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end.”  That’s what we believe.

Could we say that Mourinho is also an “hombre lija,” one of those that bite when you touch him?

No way.  I think we would all say that our coach is more of a sponge than sandpaper.  He’s a great guy, and many times you feel that he’s one more teammate because you can speak with him about everything.  What he does very well is differentiate.  He can demand the maximum from you, and after a game, give you a hug.

And how does a Spartan handle himself in the court of a Portuguese?

I believe I fit in very well.  I have no complaints, it’s actually the opposite.  He’s always treated me phenomenally.  And another thing I really like about him is that he tells you everything to your face, and that’s very important, that people tell you what they think of you when you do things well and when you do things poorly.

It’s always been said that Real Madrid is a piña, but there must be some seeds walking around by themselves because many things are leaked, no?

Yes, and that’s very, very bad.  Normally, we have everything resolved, but it’s something that can’t be controlled and there’s no way to eradicate it because you can’t prove anything.  In order for this not to happen, you need the commitment of all 25 teammates.

So it looks like an Agatha Christie movie, where some are always suspecting others…

In reality, it happens in all the locker rooms of the first division, but in Madrid, anything that happens goes around the world.  Despite this, it’s something that hurts a lot because in the end the team is the one that is harmed.

And what other things are hard to smooth over?

Perhaps that issue that I find the hardest to deal with is when journalists are unjust or when you see there is a campaign against your coach or against the players.  We know that sometimes there are interests at stake, but we have to keep quiet.  There’s also a lot of friendship inside the sporting press.

Is it widespread?

No, no, it always depends on the journalist and you can’t include everyone in the same sack.  But it’s perhaps one of the things that is the hardest when you’re young and beginning in the world of professional football.  Many times, we footballers are accused of always saying the same things and repeating clichés, but it’s out of fear that what you say can be misinterpreted and taken out of context.

That explains the “football is like that” or “there’s no small team…”

Of course, and sometimes you hear yourself speak and you don’t like it.  That’s why it’s important to be prepared before going into a press conference so that you don’t repeat clichés.

What are you expectations for the upcoming Eurocopa?

I hope to be there.  After playing in the last edition and in the World Cup, I would be excited to go, so I hope that Vicente continues to have confidence in me like he’s always had.

19 Comments leave one →
  1. Dia permalink
    May 6, 2012 16:07

    Love Arbeloa. Handsome, funny and a great player. Plus he loves his dogs! Carlota is one lucky woman.

  2. Pammie permalink
    May 6, 2012 16:13

    I like Carlota Ruiz new phone background a lot (she tweeted a screenshot of using the top right photo)! 😀
    Thanks a lot for translating this interview, it’s really a fun read. I love that Álvaro always speaks out against bad journalism. And Sergio prettying up for a match, lmao!

  3. May 6, 2012 16:30

    Crack! jajajaja

  4. manie permalink
    May 6, 2012 16:36

    I love how well-spoken he is and how he handled the more sensitive questions about the locker room. Love. Thanks for translating!

  5. Ally permalink
    May 6, 2012 16:39

    Lovely interview and thanks for translating! The part about Sergio is classic 😀
    you must be pretty busy right now with all the photos and videos of the celebrations plus last nights game… so please take your time, I’m patiently waiting ^^

  6. May 6, 2012 17:05

    I appreciate his seemingly truthful answers. He comes across as a very nice, straight forward guy. What doesn’t hurt is that he’s absolutely gorgeous! 😉

  7. May 6, 2012 17:17

    omg i want this magazine why don’t i live in spain 😥
    oh and Una you’re starting to watermark your pictures, good!!!

  8. lolo permalink
    May 6, 2012 18:11

    isnt he just sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo hot and sexy!?!? i took time till my heart found its normal speed and for my breathe to settle down!! hes just so amazing!!

  9. May 6, 2012 19:24

    your blog makes me happy, this team makes me happy! i love them sooo much theres no chemistry with other teams! do you have a tumblr?

  10. Sara permalink
    May 6, 2012 19:32

    haha how old is he again? The questions are funny and his answers even more. I wonder who takes more care of himself, Cristiano or Ramos? Im going with Ramos since having long hair takes more effort than just putting gel in it lol I love this kinds of interviews when they just talk about what goes on in the locker rooms. And his Leonidas and Sparta analogies are hilarious. Thanks for this post:) You’re the best!

  11. eruhin permalink
    May 6, 2012 22:18

    Very interesting interview. I love to hear what happens in the locker room and between the players, the nicknames, routines, teasing. Pity that Alvaro didn’t specify what Sergio does to his hair to make it so fabulous;) I also liked what he said about the leaking and press. Thanks for the translate!

  12. @ulonghaz permalink
    May 7, 2012 06:27

    his saying about the press is understandable..I do feel that the media has some conspiracy against us

  13. yuyutein permalink
    May 7, 2012 07:33

    I love Alvaro! Always did, but when he does interviews, even more! ❤ Thanks for sharing Una.. btw I'm sure I've seen a youtube clip of Sergio asked by a reporter "why are you out so late?" and he said something like because he had to put on some cream.. Can anyone find a link please? I'm now so desperate to find it after reading this interview!

  14. Marie permalink
    May 7, 2012 09:29

    What a great interview! Thanks so much for translating. I love the image of our lazy footballers – something tells me their definition of lazy and mine are very different 😛

  15. Anna permalink
    May 7, 2012 13:38

    hahaha, loved the comments about sergio, and love arbeloa! thanks for translating this una 😀

  16. May 7, 2012 18:47

    Albiol is going to walk the runway hahahahha, cute chori

  17. black widow permalink
    May 8, 2012 06:05

    gracias por the translation, una!

    i LOVE him. after iker, he’s my favourite. i’ve always said if the footie didn’t work out, he could model — and here’s more proof! he sounds like such a funny, intelligent, talented guy. carlota is so lucky! and that bit about sergio … hahahahaha!

    PS 1: who in their right mind would ever deny him a kiss?! what a ridiculous question!

    PS 2: loved the little shout-out to albiol. hee!


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