On Monday afternoon, Real Madrid will pay tribute to Marcelo in a unique ceremony, an honor that has been denied to a number of club superstars, including Cristiano Ronaldo.
Los Blancos won the Champions League final against Liverpool in late May, capping a spectacular season for Carlo Ancelotti’s squad. The victory came less than a month after Real Madrid won their 35th La Liga title with four rounds left to play on their way to domestic triumph.
Marcelo addressed his farewell to the club when it was announced that he will be leaving at the conclusion of his contract this summer. The experienced Brazilian has spent 16 years at the Santiago Bernabeu, and while it was expected that he would return to his homeland, no decision has yet been made.
Fenerbahce, the Turkish giants presently led by Jorge Jesus, are also said to be interested in a movie. A transfer is also reported to be being monitored by clubs from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.
He’ll hold a news conference with club president Florentino Perez at noon on Monday, with all 25 trophies he’s won — a club-record – on display as a symbolic show of gratitude. Despite scoring a staggering 450 goals in 438 games for the club — 127 more goals than the previous club’s best scorer Raul Gonzalez – Ronaldo was denied this upon his departure in 2018.
During his tenure at Madrid, Ronaldo won four Champions League trophies, but he was traded to Juventus when his relationship with the club’s hierarchy deteriorated. There was no formal farewell news conference for the Portuguese international, whose final appearance in a Real Madrid shirt came during the festivities following the 2018 Champions League final, when he delivered a statement honoring the club and his teammates but without announcing his departure.
Marcelo’s spectacular career in the Spanish capital saw him win 25 trophies, more than any other player in the club’s history, surpassing Paco Gento’s previous record of 23 trophies earned with Los Blancos. Marcelo not only set a new milestone, but he also became the first non-Spanish player to lead Real Madrid to the league and Champions League titles. After Sergio Ramos left to join Paris Saint-Germain, the Brazilian took over as captain at the start of the season.
The left-back has spoken out about his upcoming departure, saying: “I don’t think of myself as a legend. I am a person who savors each and every moment. Before I left, I had the wonderful fortune of being captain and hoisting the cup. Already, the final match was a sort of farewell, but there’s no greater way to say go than with my fifth Champions League title. It’s the end of a lovely cycle.”
Despite being second in the pecking order behind Ferland Mendy for the left-back position this season, the Brazilian has remained an encouraging presence on the bench. Indeed, while deciding what decisions to make during matches, Ancelotti frequently consults Marcelo.
Ramon Calderon, then-president of Real Madrid, remarked at the time of his signing in January 2007: “For us, he is a significant addition. He’s a young player who will provide some freshness to the team, and he’s part of our strategy to bring in younger players. We’re overjoyed since he’s a rare gem that half of Europe sought.”
Marcelo then developed into the long-term heir to another Brazilian club hero, Roberto Carlos, who held the position for more than a decade, aiding Real Madrid – for whom he made 546 first-team appearances – to domestic and European victory.