In an audacious idea from Real Valladolid president Ronaldo Nazario, Barcelona icon Dani Alves may pair up with former Real Madrid captain Marcelo.
According to Brazilian media site UOL Esporte, the renowned former Brazil international striker supervised Valladolid’s promotion back to La Liga after one season in the second division and is now hoping to make the two-star acquisitions. Both Alves, 39, and Marcelo, 34, are free agents after departing opposing El Clasico teams this summer, and both are now Ronaldo’s ‘personal project,’ with the latter not having to break the bank to meet their pay demands.
Alves’ short-term contract with Barca was not extended, despite the veteran right-desire back’s to stay at the club for at least the first half of next season to keep his World Cup dream alive. As a result, he is now a free agent looking for a new club.
After his contract with Sao Paulo was dissolved last September, the Brazilian right-back became Xavi Hernandez’s first signing at the Camp Nou, joining on a free transfer in January. Alves returned to the club earlier this season after a five-and-a-half-year absence and has quickly established himself as a key component of the first-team squad, appearing in 17 games for the Blaugrana in the second half of the season, scoring once.
Alves hopes to play in his fourth World Cup and add to his 122 caps for the Selecao, for whom he has won numerous Copa America tournaments as well as a gold medal at the 2016 Olympics. However, he has never won a World Cup match.
Marcelo said his farewell to Real Madrid last month when it was revealed that he will be leaving at the conclusion of his contract this summer. The veteran Brazilian has spent 16 years at the Santiago Bernabeu, and while it was expected that he would return to his homeland, no future plans have been finalized, and he might yet remain in Europe.
The left-long back’s 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.
Marcelo described his departure from Madrid as follows: “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.”
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.
In September 2018, Ronaldo purchased 51 percent of Valladolid’s shares for £25 million, becoming him the club’s dominant owner. In December, the former striker also acquired Cruzeiro, the Brazilian club where he began his illustrious career.
Valladolid was demoted from La Liga a year ago, but has recently returned after gaining automatic promotion from the Segunda with Almeria and Girona, following a one-year hiatus.