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Álvaro de la Rosa | 04/01/2013
The Real Madrid defender, Álvaro Arbeloa, talked to the press before his team's game against Real Sociedad, and discussed Iker Casillas' situation. The player thinks that the fans in the Bernabeu should get behind the team no matter what and that they are "supporters of Madrid, not Iker", although he clarified that it was normal that the fans would get behind Casillas, and that is an admirable trait in the Real Madrid supporters.
"I think the only way for the Bernabeu to react is to support the team, whether Iker plays of not, because they are Real Madrid supporters, not Iker supporters"
Will Iker or Adán play? "I really don't know. But for the fans it shouldn't matter who plays, only that the team wins. I love the fact the fans support Iker, but that doesn't mean they don't support Adán or the coach. We all want Madrid to win titles, and the supporters do too. This is sport; everyone goes through ups and downs. Iker might be on the bench for a couple of games, but he'll keep showing how good he is, and he'll win us lots of trophies".
Anything behind the IFFHS awarding Iker his prize right now?
In Adán we've got a great keeper, and we have the same respect for him as we do for Casillas. The situation is being blown out of proportion because of everything Casillas has done. I will take this opportunity to say well done for the award, and to say that he knows he has the team's support. Just as if one day Cristiano is on the bench, someone else will go out there and do a good job. We are 25 professional footballers and it doesn't matter who plays on any given Sunday.
If it's a coaching decision, does that make things tough for Adán? "No, it's not a difficult situation for him. It means he's doing well. If someone is on the bench people take it to mean that person is doing something wrong, but often it's because someone else is doing it better. Antonio is a great keeper and we have faith in him".
Has it been talked about in the dressing room? "No, because if we did we would have to talk about 15 people being substitutes every week. The dressing room treated it as an everyday thing, every week more people are on the bench than in the team. Iker is the first to take it as something standard, without getting upset, and showing that he's a great teammate and a great professional, because he has trained harder than ever. Pepe, Xabi and Cristiano have all had spells on the bench. It's had so much repercussion because it's happened at Madrid, but we treat it as a standard thing and knowing that Iker continues to be important".
Is the game against Real or Celta [in the cup] more important? "They are equally important. No one can think that we'll give up on the league if we want to win titles. It's hard to be at your best in the Cup and the Champions if you aren't doing it in the League. You can't choose which games you are going to be at your best for, as a professional it needs to be in every game".
Would you take the tenth European cup even if it meant finishing 16 points behind Barcelona? "That's not something you can sign up for. The only thing I agree to from here to the end of the season is winning every game. Obviously the Champions is now more realistic, but to win it you need to be at your maximum potential every weekend. I don't think we are able to relax at the weekends and then give everything in the Champions. That would be very difficult".
IMAGEN: Arbeloa speaks to the press