Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa has said in an interview that Spain’s primer minister, Mariano Rajoy, should be grateful to former Los Blancos boss Jose Mourinho for taking the headlines off him.
The centre back said criticism of the Portuguese manager was over the top and that the 50-year-old served as a distraction while the government carried out a number of tough austerity measures.
Speaking to the Efe news agency, Arbeloa said: “I think that during these past three years, there has been too much talk about him. Everyone has an opinion about him. Spain’s Prime Minister should be grateful to Mou because he diverted the attention away from some of the other issues that are going on in Spain.”
The Spain international said there has been a number of misconceptions about Mourinho and that at the end of his three-year stay most of the players in the squad were on good terms with him – contrary to reports in the press.
He stated: “I will always be grateful to him for the way he treated me as a person and for the faith he showed in me.
“Many of us showed our gratitude and thanked him although some people seem to think that it was only me. Within the squad, more players thanked Mourinho than those who didn’t.”