Albiol pens new Real deal

Raul Albiol
Raul Albiol has impressed since his move to the Bernabeu from Valencia. Photo: PA

Defender Raul Albiol is looking to repay the faith Real Madrid have shown in him after signing a long-term contract with the club.

Albiol yesterday agreed a new deal that will keep him at the Bernabeu until 2017 following an impressive three years after moving from La Liga rivals Valencia for a fee believed to be in the region of €15million.

He has won the Copa del Rey and La Liga during his time with the club although he made just 10 league appearances last season.

With Pepe, Sergio Ramos and Ricardo Carvalho all vying for a position at the heart of defence, Albiol clearly has his work cut out to claim a starting berth, but offering him a long-term deal would indicate manager Jose Mourinho has faith in the 26-year-old.

"I am very happy because this means that the club and its coaching staff trust in me being here," Albiol told the club's official website.

"I really feel at home at Real Madrid and I'm very happy. Now I have to show that they are not wrong and that I can be a good player for the team.

"In the world of football you never know because anything can happen during each season. I'm really excited and want to stay on at the club. I'm very happy here and hope to be here until I retire."

Albiol has won 36 caps for Spain and although he was selected for their European Championship campaign, he was unused throughout the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

He was quick to pay tribute to Mourinho after penning a new contract, saying: "The coach is very demanding and gets the best performance out of each player.

"He makes you concentrate and be involved. He's a winner. You have to be there and really make an effort.

"He's been successful for many years now, winning lots of trophies and training the best teams in the world. He understands a lot about football, devotes a lot of time to it, and is on top of everything. He knows how to get the best from the players. That's his skill."

Albiol is not content with winning just one Primera Division, saying the team are focused on success on every front this year.

"Together we'll try to fight for all the trophies. We particularly want to win the European Cup," he added.

"On a personal level I'll try to improve, shine when I have the opportunity to do so and help the team as much as I can. We must come together because that's the most important thing."