Birthdate: 17 January 1983
Birthplace: Salamanca, Spain
Other clubs: Real Madrid (2000-06), Deportivo La Coruna (2006-07), Real Madrid (2 / 2009-)
Bought from: Deportivo La Coruna
Signed for LFC: £2.64m, 30.01.2007
International debut: 26.03.2008 vs. Italy
International caps: 47/0 (9/0 at LFC) - 26.03.2013
Liverpool debut: 10.02.2007
Last appearance: 17.05.2009
Debut goal: 07.04.2007
Last goal: 08.11.2008
Contract expiry: 30.07.2009
Win ratio: 57.14% W: 56 D: 28 L: 14
LFC league games/goals: 66 / 2
Total LFC games/goals: 98 / 2
Arbeloa joined Deportivo in the summer of 2006 from Real Madrid where he had mostly featured in Real's B-team, Castilla. Depor's financial difficulties forced them to sell Arbeloa, who had been a regular since his arrival, making a handsome profit on the deal. When Liverpool failed to bring Lucas Neill to the club, they bought Arbeloa to be Steve Finnan's understudy at right-back. Arbeloa's first two weeks at Liverpool were no picnic: "My first fortnight at the club was inhumane. Rafa Benítez criticised everything I did, from the way I did some basketball practice to how I played my football. But now I am grateful to him for filling me in on how the team works." Arbeloa had a baptism of fire against Barcelona in the Champions League where he showed his versatility in the left-back position and kept Lionel Messi quiet. Although his reputation from his time in Spain was mainly as a right-back, in a lot of matches, especially early in the season, he was switched to the other flank; and he was also able to fill in as a central defender if required. On the whole he was dependable, even if he never came close to doing anything much at the other end of the field, as he had done when scoring at Reading in April 2007.
Arbeloa established himself as the team's first-choice right-back in the 2008/09 season when Liverpool should have won the League title. The signing of Glen Johnson in the close season of 2009 led to much speculation that Arbeloa would move on which was confirmed when he signed a five-year contract with his former club, Real Madrid. Fernando Torres was appreciative of his compatriot's contribution to the team after Liverpool's decline following the exit of Arbeloa, Hyypia and Alonso. "Alvaro was a player who did a vital job for us, always played to a high level and his flexibility was a huge bonus," Torres said.
Arbeloa has played in roughly 70% of Real Madrid's Primera matches in his three seasons there and in 2011/12 he added a Spanish championship winners' medal to the Copa del Rey winners' medal won a year earlier as Real reclaimed the title after it had been in Barcelona's possession for the previous three campaigns. Arbeloa was in Spain's successful squad that won the European Championship in 2008 but only appeared in one match, against Greece, during the finals. He can also call himself a world champion even though he only featured for 13 minutes in 2010. Arbeloa was finally a regular in the team when Spain repeated their Euro success in 2012, appearing in six games.