Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa says former coach Jose Mourinho taught him to be braver.
The 33-year-old is preparing for his final game at the Santiago Bernabeu as Madrid host Valencia in La Liga on Sunday.
Arbeloa, a 56-time Spain international, has regularly been involved in wars of words with Barcelona defender Gerard Pique.
The full-back said it was Mourinho, who coached Madrid from 2010-13, who helped him speak his mind.
“Surely the treatment of the press towards me has been very different, but Mou has helped me not only in football, but personally,” Arbeloa told Marca.
“He helped me not be afraid to say what you think, not to be afraid to defend your club. That is a legacy that Jose left on me and for what I will always be grateful.”
Arbeloa may be leaving boyhood club Madrid, but he has no plans to retire just yet.
However, he is unsure just where he might end up, saying: “Keep playing, I have it clear. I am here to stay.
“I love to train and play and want to continue until I drop.
“One of the things I wanted to do is have my head in Madrid until the end and I succeeded. I have nothing, I know nothing about where I’ll be next year.”
Arbeloa could go out in style, with Madrid still in the hunt for the league title and set to compete in the Champions League final against rivals Atletico Madrid.
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