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Marcelo talks Modric, Kroos, Ronaldo, Zidane, Ancelotti, Valverde, Rodrygo, Mourinho



Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Marcelo brought an end to his illustrious career at Real Madrid last summer after his contract expired and the club opted not to renew.

The Brazilian left-back enjoyed a stellar spell that lasted over 15 years at the Santiago Bernabeu, winning a host of titles and trophies, even captaining the team following the departure of Sergio Ramos.

A legend at the club in every sense of the word, Marcelo bid goodbye to Real Madrid last summer and signed for Olympiacos. However, his stint in Greece came to a swift end, with the two parties terminating the contract earlier this month.

Back in Madrid after parting ways with Olympiacos, Marcelo sat down for an interview with ESPN (h/t MARCA), during which he discussed various things related to his stint at Real Madrid.

Kicking things off, the veteran left-back named Toni Kroos, Rodrygo and Luka Modric as the three players who surprised him the most during his time at the club. “The ones who have surprised me the most are these three: Toni Kroos, Rodrygo and Modric,” he said.

Highlighting what made Kroos special, Marcelo added: “Kroos, because I don’t know what’s going on in his head, he seems to be in his own world and makes some incredible back controls. He manages to dribble past the players coming behind him, I’ve never seen that before.”

Talking of Rodrygo, he said: “The other one is Rodrygo, the typical player who was born with natural gifts, he dribbles with his body…. He’s the false slow player, because he’s very quick on the ball.”

On Modric, he added: “And the other one is Luka Modric, there are no words. You can’t imagine what Luka will do with the ball.”

Marcelo also gave his two cents on his former teammate and partner-in-crime, Cristiano Ronaldo, who has seen a sharp decline in his prowess in recent times and is playing in Saudi Arabia for Al Nassr.

“When we start playing football we know it’s not forever. It’s clear that he doesn’t have the speed he used to have, but he can play for any team in the world. He has always given the maximum to his teams. We are talking about a player who has been 17 years in a row in The Best FIFA XI,” Marcelo said.

Marcelo reflects on the coaches he played for at Madrid

During his legendary career at Real Madrid, Marcelo had the opportunity to play with some of the greatest managers like Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Rafael Benitez and Zinedine Zidane, among others.

When asked who was the best coach he worked under, the Brazilian highlighted Mourinho, Zizou and Ancelotti, giving an insight into what made each of them special.

On Mourinho, Marcelo said: “The best talks, those of Mourinho, a coach who specialises in getting inside your head. He changed me in terms of being aggressive, fighting….”

Marcelo hailed Zidane for his man-management skills (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

The former club captain then claimed that Zidane stood out for his man-management, saying: “In terms of group management, I’d go with Zizou, because there was a time when Kiko Casilla played 25 games and Keylor Navas was laughing on the bench. He kept everyone happy.”

“From Carlo I keep the calm way of being. We scored a goal and we were always calm. It was good for me to have him now, in the situation I was in. I was the captain of the team, but he prefers someone else to play, and that’s normal, and he helped me with that,” he said on Ancelotti.

Looking back at his last season

Marcelo may have been a legend at Real Madrid, but his stock took a hit during his last season, with Ancelotti preferring Ferland Mendy ahead of him at left-back. Reflecting on how it felt to lose importance in the team during that time, he said:

“I knew I wasn’t the starter and I said: what can I do to help the team? Of course, I was annoyed that I wasn’t playing. There is no player who says he is happy to be on the bench. And if he says so, he’s lying, it’s impossible.

“I helped my teammates by competing in training and I felt very useful. My way of being and my joy brought a lot, too. I felt like a winner too. It’s tough to be captain and not play. And to tell your son that the coach doesn’t count on you, but this season was the best because I learned a lot as a human being.”

Talking about his relationship and emotional connection with the club, he said: “It’s my home, I arrived when I was 18 and I have learnt all the values of Madrid. I learned from Raúl, Casillas, Ramos. Leaving my home was difficult, but I feel that I haven’t left Real Madrid.”

On a possible return to the club in the future, Marcelo added: “I’m not in Madrid now, but I haven’t left. I see myself returning to Madrid, trying to help the young people. I don’t see myself going back without doing anything, but helping just like I did when I arrived at 18, doing my bit.”

Talking about the young crop of players like Vinicius Jr, Eder Militao and Rodrygo taking over the mantle, he said: “They have been patient and now we see the results, it looks like they have been at Madrid for 15 years.

“And the same goes for Fede. When Fede was in Castilla and went up for training one day, as a kid, Casemiro and I talked about him and said what a guy…. You could see him touch the ball, run.”

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid have made Man City defensive target a top priority for the summer



Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images

Although Antonio Rudiger has had success since joining Real Madrid last summer, the club are in need of more depth and players that can form the backbone of the defensive unit in the years to come.

As part of their plans, Real Madrid are prioritising a move for Josko Gvardiol in the coming summer, reports 90 Min.

The outlet suggests Gvardiol will be one of the most wanted prospects in the market, with both Real Madrid and Manchester City eyeing a move for the Croatian international come the end of the season.

Formerly of Dinamo Zagreb, Gvardiol has enjoyed immense success since his move to the Bundesliga in 2021. He has impressed onlookers with his skill, organisation and discipline, which, coupled with his versatility, make him an appealing target for any European giant.

Gvardiol was also one of the top performers at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, helping Croatia finish third in the competition. His performances have not gone unnoticed, with Real Madrid among the clubs who have been keeping an eye on the defender for a while now.

However, signing Gvardiol will be a tricky task for Los Blancos. The player still has a long-term contract at Leipzig and could cost up to €85 million, as reported by 90 Min. Not to mention, the competition from Man City could be significant.

Real Madrid have no shortage of alternatives, though, with the club notably closely monitoring Portuguese defensive whizkid Antonio Silva, among others. So it will be interesting to see how the Spanish giants approach the market in this coming summer.

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