Alvaro Arbeloa hit out at Spain international team-mate Gerard Pique as their war of words continues.
Arbeloa finally responded to comments from Pique made in December last year in which the Barcelona defender claimed “Arbeloa is not a friend, just someone I know”.
Real Madrid’s Arbeloa said he had “not thought about it a lot”, but decided to explain his silence in an interview with La Galerna.
“Many people told me ‘You have to respond’,” the 33-year-old said. “I have digested it enough.
“You usually heat up and respond straight away, but later you realise it is better to let the situation cool over and not say certain things.
“I could explain to the world why I am not Pique’s friend, but maybe he would not be in a good way if I did that.
“It’s also true that I know his family, and the respect I have for them he does not have for mine.”
The Spaniard added: “Our families are important. We hear a lot of claptrap and more or less you don’t care, but those close to you suffer.
“Thinking about that, I preferred not to respond. If he attacked Real Madrid once again, I would have jumped, because I will defend them always.
“To attack me is different. This is my form of acting. To not respond is better than to say things that could have been said.”