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Former Real Madrid and Liverpool defender announces his retirement

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Former Real Madrid and Liverpool defender Alvaro Arbeloa announced his retirement from professional football on Saturday.

According to Spanish publication Marca, the 34-year-old full-back, who currently plays for English Premier League (EPL) club West Ham United has called time on his career and said this is the right time for him to leave despite being physically fit.

"It's time to say goodbye. Physically I was ok to keep playing," he was quoted as saying by Marca.

The former Spain international was a part of his country's FIFA World Cup winning squad in 2010. He was also a part of the Spanish squad that won consecutive UEFA European Championship titles in 2008 and 2012.  He made 56 appearances for Spain from 2009 to 2013.

Having learnt his trade in Real Madrid's youth team, Arbeloa spent half a season at Deportivo la Coruna before he was whisked away to Liverpool, where he established himself as a first team regular. After 98 appearances in two and a half seasons at Liverpool, a return to Real Madrid beckoned.

He made 153 appearances for Real Madrid from 2009 to 2016 before making a move to the London club last season where he featured in three EPL games.

Arbeloa asserted that his time at Real Madrid was the best of his career. He won two UEFA Champions League titles, one La Liga and two Copa Del Rey titles during his time with the current European champions alongside some of the star footballers like Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, James Rodriguez, Alvaro Morata and Dani Carvajal.

"Madrid is the club of my life, I will never call to ask for a job, but I am always available to offer myself," he said.

He also spoke in favour of the Real Madrid President, Florentino Perez.

"Your detractors will be hiding in a cave," he said.