Arbeloa - I'm fit and I feel ready

Alvaro Arbeloa revealed that a glowing report from Croatia star Luka Modric helped convince him to join West Ham United.

The highly-decorated former Liverpool, Real Madrid and Spain full-back has linked up with the Hammers on a one-year deal.

FIFA World Cup, UEFA European Championship and UEFA Champions League winner Arbeloa told West Ham TV the advice given to him by former teammate Modric to work under Slaven Bilic was key to his decision to return to the Premier League.
Alvaro Arbeloa, welcome to West Ham United. What is your reaction to joining the Hammers?

AA: "I am really happy to be here in a great Club in a great league. I'm really happy to be back in England and, for me, it's a great chance and I'm looking forward to playing with this side.”

You have had a look around London Stadium, seeing the pitch and the dressing room, so what do you think of your new home?

AA: "The Stadium is amazing. It's really nice and looks fantastic. Hopefully I'm going to see the Stadium full with all our fans and I'm really happy to be here.”

You had interest from some big clubs in La Liga and Serie A, so why did you choose West Ham United over those clubs?

AA: "For me, this is a great chance to be back in England and in the Premier League, which is a fantastic league and I want to put myself in the Premier League again. This is a big Club and a great Club with good players and a fantastic coach.”


You spoke to Slaven Bilic on the telephone before signing, so what was his message to you?

AA: "Slaven wants to see me training as soon as possible. I was talking with [Real Madrid midfielders and Croatia internationals] Luka Modric and Matteo Kovacic and they told me good things about the coach, so I want to work with him and hopefully I can learn a lot of things."

We also have exciting midfielders here at West Ham among a squad of talented players. What do you make of the team you are joining?

AA: “I think West Ham did a really good season last year and it was a little bit sad about the Europa League, but we have to look forward and we have a really good squad with amazing players and we have to fight for everything.”

You will have faced Sofiane Feghouli in Spain, and his arrival among others shows the ambition of West Ham?

AA: “Yes, as I told you before I think we have really good players in the squad, with two players for every position. It’s a really strong squad, so I think we can beat every team.”

You played in the Premier League before with Liverpool and then spent seven years with Real Madrid, so presumably you are ready for a new challenge back in England?

AA: “I’ve been in Real Madrid for seven years and now I’m back in England and I’m very happy to be here again. Everything has changed a little bit, but I’m really happy to be in London. I think the level of the Premier League this year is amazing, not just for the players but also for the coaches and I think one of the reasons to be here is that level of the Premier League.”

You are used to challenging for titles every year, but what do you think West Ham can achieve this season?

AA: “I think we have to be a better team than last year and that is our target. We have a good squad and we have to fight every week to beat the other teams. Why can’t we finish in a better position than last year?”

We are told you keep yourself very fit and even do triathlons for fun…

AA: “I need two or three weeks to be really fit because I have been training on my own, which is different. You can see I feel really, really well and I’m excited to play for this team. I have been training and I feel ready.”