Sunday, September 6, 2009

Arbeloa questions Liverpool's title credentials

Real Madrid defender Alvaro Arbeloa has dismissed former club Liverpool’s chances of mounting a title challenge this season, citing the transfer of Xabi Alonso as a major loss for Rafa Benitez’s side.

The cultured midfielder moved to the Bernabeu after protracted negotiations in a £30m deal, and Alonso had previously admitted that he felt unwanted at Anfield after Bentiez’s continued courting of then Aston Villa star Gareth Barry.

Arbeloa, who also swapped Merseyside for Madrid during the summer, believes the decision to allow Alonso to leave Liverpool could cost the Reds a tilt at the title.

English tabloid newspaper The People reports that the full-back said, “The thing I will always say about Xabi [Alonso] is that he is not a match-winner, but he does win you titles.

“He brings so much balance and order to a team, and it is impossible to over-estimate how important a player he is.”

Both Arbeloa and Alonso were involved in Spain’s thumping 5-0 win over Belgium on Saturday evening, a result that moves the European Champions to within a whisker of securing their place at World Cup 2010.

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