Real Madrid defender, Raul Albiol, admits that the relationship between his fellow defender, Alvaro Arbeloa, and goalkeeper Iker Casillas has grown frosty.
And the reason for their frigid relationship is not because Arbeloa accidentally broke Casillas’ hand during a Copa del Rey match against Valencia last season.
Arbeloa and Casillas were in the separate cliques that developed behind the scenes at the Bernabeu, in reaction to former manager Jose Mourinho.
Casillas became Mou’s number one enemy, and never returned to the starting line-up after damaging his hand in a defensive mishap with Arbeloa.
Arbeloa meanwhile, has defended Mourinho’s hard-line approach even though it alienated some Real players, and has claimed that the assertion that Casillas was dropped out of spite was unfair to his excellent replacement, Diego Lopez.
And according to Albiol, tensions remain between the two Spanish internationals, and he hopes they can be resolved.
"The friendship [between Casillas and Arbeloa] has maybe got a little bit colder,” Albiol said, according to Soccernet.
“I would like things to get back to normal. It is not that they are getting on really badly, as people have said. But as a team-mate of the two, and I appreciate them both, I would like everything to return to normal."
Recently, Arbeloa claimed that the behaviour of some of his team-mates had let The Special One down.
He did not mention Casillas specifically, but in his defence of Lopez, it was clear that Arbeloa remains unimpressed by the way the Real Madrid skipper fell out with Mourinho.
"Mourinho did everything to defend this club, and few at Real Madrid can say that," Arbeloa told La Sexta.
"We are a club where, usually, the players are concerned with ourselves and then later with other things. There are people who do not like having a coach who would not let them relax. I prefer people like 'Mou', who are straight up. Mourinho left disillusioned with the players."
"There does not need to be so much of a commotion if someone goes to the bench occasionally," Arbeloa added.
"We all have a lot of respect [for Iker], but we must also show the same respect to Antonio Adan or Diego Lopez, independently of what they have achieved in the past. [Lopez] had a brilliant season, outstanding. At the moment I do not think he has to be jealous of any 'keeper in the world. He will have felt that there could have been a lack of respect."