With the Champions League final now over, Real Madrid captain Marcelo’s journey with the Spanish capital ends on a high note after 16 years with the Royal Whites. The recent 1-0 victory over Liverpool on Saturday has pushed the Brazilian fullback to become the most decorated player in Real Madrid’s 120-year history.
Often dubbed as one of, if not, the best left back in modern soccer, Marcelo has found playing time hard to come by in recent years. During the 2021-2022 campaign, he only made 12 appearances across 39 games in the Spanish league.
Marcelo’s decline has been noticeable since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018 with many speculating he missed the partnership the two had over Ronaldo’s stay in the club. Regardless, the Brazilian defender has firmly established his place among the club’s greats.
“It is a wonderful moment in my life. I close my cycle here in the best club in the world,” Marcelo told supporters over the trophy celebrations in the Spanish capital on Sunday. “Today is not a day of sadness, but a day of joy because we have once again won the best championship in the world. I am very proud of myself, and so is my family. We have lived many magical nights together. I tell you one thing, the future of Madrid is very good with the young players. Hala Madrid.”
Despite his contract ending, Marcelo comforted supporters by saying that his relationship with the club would still play a role in the future.
At 34 years old, Marcelo has made over 500 appearances for the club and inherited the captain’s armband from Sergio Ramos last year after contract talks led to an exit to Paris St Germain last year. The Brazilian fullback made his debut for Real Madrid in 2007.
The defender was a prominent figure in the backline and showed a willingness to drive forward, often combining with Cristiano Ronaldo, and more recently, Vinicius Jr to disrupt the opposition backline. He played an instrumental role in the threepeat Champions League finals under Zinedine Zidane.
Since arriving in 2007, Marcelo has won it all, picking up 25 trophies along the near-two decades run with Real Madrid.