Arbeloa backs under-fire Alonso

The Spain full-back said he respected anyone who spoke the truth about La Roja’s weaknesses rather than cover up their deficiencies

Alvaro Arbeloa says Xabi Alonso has his “utmost respect” for being brave enough to admit Spain’s failings.

Alonso accused his compatriots of a “lack of hunger” after the reigning World champions became the first team to be knocked out of the World Cup in Brazil following two successive defeats to Holland and Chile.

The Real Madrid defensive midfielder was criticised for his performance in Spain’s 2-0 loss to Chile in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday – with Alonso saying the players lacked the “conviction” to “make a serious attempt at defending the trophy”.

Arbeloa – who plays with Alonso at Real Madrid – leapt to his teammate’s defence on Twitter saying that it was better to speak out than lie about the problems in the Spain camp.

The full-back wrote: “My utmost respect and admiration for anyone who prefers to tell a painful truth rather than ‘sugarcoat’ something with lies.”

Spain will attempt to restore some pride when they play Australia in their final Group B match in the tournament on June 23.

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