Graham Hunter is a Messi fanboy, and that’s why I love him. I think it’s great he wrote this part. Very few people ever write stuff on Arbeloa, especially about how he is as a person. Not saying he is the best defender or anything, but he certainly deserves more credit, and less of the harsh criticism he has been getting. The article is not really about Arbeloa, it compares Barcelona’s system to Madrid’s.
At a time when most of those who write or broadcast about Spanish football find their inspiration in Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andres Iniesta, Iker Casillas and their ilk, I’d like to begin by sharing my admiration for Alvaro Arbeloa. He’s a sharp guy with an enquiring mind, a good sense of humour and a genuine understanding that this is all a big game of marbles — not to be taken brutally seriously once the battle dies down.
Arbeloa has a big medal cabinet in which the World Cup triumph will always feature most prominently.
I doubt he’d claim to have the identical skill set as Xavi Hernandez, but I’d bet everything I’ll ever own that he’s a gem to coach. Win his respect and you’ve got a terrific athlete who’ll never, ever voluntarily give second best.