It has been a year and a half since Marcelo left his beloved Real Madrid, joining Olympiacos on a free transfer.
But after a short spell in Greece, the left-back returned to his homeland earlier in the year, joining his youth club Fluminense.
As we approach the end of the year, Marcelo has already featured in 26 competitive matches for Fluminense since returning to the club.
Copa Libertadores for Marcelo
A return to Fluminense has been quite beneficial for Marcelo, as he has been able to add to his trophy cabinet by recently winning the Copa Libertadores.
Indeed, Fluminense has been crowned champions in this edition of Copa Libertadores, as they defeated Argentine giants BOCA Juniors in the final.
Marcelo played a key role in their triumph, featuring in eight matches and becoming a crucial outlet in the left-back position.
Marcelo’s experience, coupled with his attacking flair on the left flank helped Fluminense defeat Olimpia, Internacional and Argentinos Jr, in the lead-up to their final triumph.
“More important than UCL”
Shortly after winning the Copa Libertadores title, Marcelo deemed it more important than the UEFA Champions League titles.
“Real Madrid will understand, this is my most important title at club level. It is the club that raised me,” Marcelo said (h/t Diario AS). “Real Madrid lives in my heart, but it is even difficult to talk about Fluminense.”
Marcelo’s comments are hardly surprising, as the love for Fluminense runs in his family. His grandfather was a huge fan of the club, which led to the player starting his youth career there.
This is the first time Marcelo has bagged a South American club football trophy. The fact that it was Copa Libertadores makes it even more special for the veteran left-back, who has won scores of trophies during his time at Real Madrid.
Official: Real Madrid starting lineup against Napoli | UCL GW 5
Real Madrid are back in the Champions League following their impressive win against Cadiz on the weekend as they host Napoli at the Santiago Bernabeu for gameweek five.
They have already secured qualification to the round of 16, and even a point today would secure first place in the group.
With several players still injured, Carlo Ancelotti has opted for his best available starting lineup, with Daniel Carvajal taking responsibility of the captain’s armband at right-back. He will be aided by Ferland Mendy, who starts on the other side.
Meanwhile, in between them, David Alaba returns to the fold as the starting centre-back, partnering Antonio Rudiger. This duo has the responsibility of screening Andriy Lunin, who continues in goal in Kepa and Thibaut Courtois’ absence.
With both Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni out, Toni Kroos gets the chance to play as the holding midfielder for two games in a row. Federico Valverde retains his spot, as well, while Dani Ceballos comes in for the injured Luka Modric in central midfield.
Rodrygo will spearhead the team’s frontline as one of the two twin forwards, while Brahim Diaz gets the nod over Joselu. Jude Bellingham is the final, and arguably the most important piece of the puzzle, playing behind the front-two.
Confirmed Madrid XI: Lunin; Carvajal, Rudiger, Alaba, Mendy; Valverde, Kroos, Ceballos; Bellingham; Diaz, Rodrygo