Roberto & Álvaro, Iker & Javi (!!!)
Roberto Soldado and Iker Muniain may be the “novedades” of this latest call-up, but they won’t be alone, as each has a very good friend on the current team.
In Soldado’s case, it’s Álvaro Arbeloa. They’ve been good friends since meeting in the cantera of Real Madrid back in 2001 (the likes of Rubén de la Red, Javi García, Javi Balboa or Borja Valero are also part of that pandilla). Álvaro says, “when I arrived in Madrid to play in the Real Madrid youth system, we met each other in the SEK complex. I also remember that we were promoted to Castilla in the same year. We’ve caused a lot of trouble together, but that was back then (laughs). We have a great relationship, it’s been many years together, and although later on we followed different roads, we stayed in touch. We’re very good friends, and our wives are even better friends. Mine is the godmother of his second son, Enzo. We have a great friendship. He attended my wedding, but I couldn’t go to his because he got married on the same day as the Eurocopa final, but we’re very good friends.”
Roberto “is a great guy, off the field he has a completely different personality than what you see on the field. On the field, he’s pure strength, with a lot of character, but off of it he’s very tranquil and nice. In the locker room, he’s very team-oriented and he’s a great teammate that you can count on.” Alvarito also reveals that they often played pádel together as partners, as well as Play, though Álvaro says he plays at a much higher level than Roberto. We also find out that Roberto “likes cars a lot, he even opened a repair shop in Madrid. His favorite group is El Canto del Loco, and he loves Spanish music and bullfighting. He doesn’t read too much, only the sports press and not much else… he loves watching football, he watches all the games he can and when we can, we get together to watch games.”
As for Iker Muniain, his amiguito is none other than Javi Martínez (!!!) (and often with the accompaniment of Ander Herrera). Check out how well they get along here, or here (two of many examples). And of course, there is the Iker-Thiago bromance as well (again, one of many examples).