Marcelo Vieira da Silva Júnior (born 12 May 1988), known as Marcelo, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays as a left-back for Super League Greece club Olympiacos. Known for his offensive capabilities, trickery, and technical qualities, Marcelo is often regarded as one of the greatest left-backs of all time. He has spent most of his career with Spanish club Real Madrid and is the club's most decorated player, with 25 trophies won.
|Full name||Marcelo Vieira da Silva Júnior|
|Date of birth||12 May 1988|
|Place of birth||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|Height||1.74 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|2012||Brazil Olympic (O.P.)||6||(0)|
|*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 18:00, 8 January 2023 (UTC)|
Starting his professional career in 2005, Marcelo won a Campeonato Carioca with Fluminense in 2006, during which he was named to the Brasileirão Team of the Season, at age 18. By the end of the year, he joined Real Madrid for an $8 million fee. In Madrid, he went on to be a mainstay and has won five UEFA Champions League titles and six La Liga titles, among other honours. In 2021, Marcelo became the captain of Real Madrid from the start of the 2021–22 season, making him the first foreign captain since 1904. He has been named to the FIFPro World XI six times, the UEFA Team of the Year three times, and La Liga's Team of the Season in 2016. He was also named to France Football's "Team of the Decade (2010–2019)".
Having debuted for Brazil in 2006, Marcelo was called up for the 2008 Olympic squad, where he won a bronze medal. Four years later, he was part of Brazil's 2012 Olympic team as one of the three over-age players, winning a silver medal. Marcelo was selected to play in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup and started all five matches, as Brazil won 3–0 against Spain in the final. He was part of Brazil's squad at two FIFA World Cups (2014 and 2018) and he was named in both tournament's Dream Teams.
Marcelo started playing futsal at age nine and by age 13, he was on the books of Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro. He came from a very poor background and even considered quitting football, but his grandfather convinced him to continue with the sport.
Marcelo joined Real Madrid during the January transfer window in 2007. On his arrival, club President Ramón Calderón said, "He is an important signing for us. He is a young player who will inject some freshness into the side and is part of our plan to bring younger players into the squad. We're very happy because he's a pearl that half of Europe wanted." Many spectators hailed him as Brazilian and Real Madrid great Roberto Carlos' potential successor in the left-back role.
Marcelo made his debut as a substitute in the 2–0 defeat against Deportivo La Coruña on 7 January 2007. On 14 April 2007, then coach Fabio Capello gave Marcelo his first start for Real Madrid against Racing de Santander. Real Madrid controversially lost the game 2–1. In the 2007–08 season, Marcelo started nearly all of Madrid's league games under the new manager Bernd Schuster. His ability, speed running across the field, attack, and defence had enabled him to become a very important player for Real Madrid.
After a string of poor performances in 2009, Marcelo found himself on the bench for much of the remaining season while under new manager Juande Ramos, mainly as deputy to the more defensive-minded Gabriel Heinze. Ramos deployed Marcelo as a winger on more than one occasion, and the Brazilian adapted well to his new role. He scored his first goal after receiving a heel flick from striker Gonzalo Higuaín and slotting the ball past the goalkeeper in Madrid's 4–0 thumping of Sporting Gijón. After the game, coach Ramos declared that Marcelo's future would be positioned as a winger, but will push back to defense when required. Marcelo scored his second goal for Real Madrid in a victory over Almería, a powerful strike from outside the box with his weaker right foot.
On 18 April 2009, he scored his third goal of his Real Madrid career, when he scored the only goal of the game against Huelva away from home. He scored his fourth goal against Sevilla at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in April 2009.
2009–2011: Rise to prominenceEdit
Under the next head coach Manuel Pellegrini, Marcelo consistently featured in the starting XI for his versatility and pace along the left flank in offensive and defensive roles. He continued to be employed as a left-winger under Pellegrini, and reached the top of the assist charts of La Liga in the 2009–10 season. He admitted in a press conference at the end of 2009, "I now feel better playing as a winger." His successful performance in Real Madrid's 2009–10 campaign earned him a contract extension on 5 February 2010 with the club until June 2015. This season proved to be his breakthrough season at the club.
In the 2010–11 season under new coach José Mourinho, Marcelo was back in his natural position of left back. He started all league games, paying back the coach's confidence in him with defensive steel and attacking intent and gained the coach's admiration. On 25 November 2010, Marcelo was named as a part of the 55 player shortlist for the FIFA World XI. He scored his first goal of the new season in a 1–0 win against Espanyol on 13 February. He had a terrific match against Lyon in the Champions League. Showing his attacking flair and defensive skills, he opened the scoring with his first-ever Champions League goal and assisted Karim Benzema's goal, at the end he was named man of the match, of which Real went on to win 3–0, and progressed to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2004. Marcelo then continued his fine season by scoring in the second leg of the semi-finals against Barcelona in the Camp Nou. The game ended 1–1, but Real Madrid lost by an aggregate score of 3–1 since they lost 2–0 at home in the first leg. Marcelo's successful campaign in the Champions League earned him a starting spot in UEFA's starting XI. Marcelo was heavily praised by the worldwide media during that season, and many called him the best left back in the world. Diego Maradona said he was the third best player in La Liga, after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
2011–2013: First-team mainstayEdit
Roberto Carlos named Marcelo as the world's best left back, saying. "He had more ability than me with the ball and he joins in better," and even called him his heir. Marcelo had shown great performances as a left back, such as in the Champions League quarter-finals against Cypriot club APOEL, while entering as a substitute in the 75th minute for Fábio Coentrão. Marcelo was part of the starting XI as Real Madrid claimed their 32nd league title.
As of February 2013, Marcelo had returned from injury and captained Real Madrid on 23 February at the Estadio Riazor which ended in a 2–1 victory for Los Merengues. On 20 April, he played as the captain again against Real Betis at the Santiago Bernabéu. In the 14th minute, he sustained a muscle injury after intercepting a long through-ball, but the game ended in 3–1 victory for the home side.
2013–2018: European and domestic successEdit
Marcelo scored the opening goal for Real Madrid against Chelsea in the Guinness International Champions Cup 2013 final on 7 August; Real Madrid won 3–1. During the league season, he played 28 matches, and scored one goal, in a 3–0 win over Levante on 9 March.
Marcelo scored Real Madrid's third goal of their 4–1 win in the Champions League final against city rivals Atlético Madrid, with an extra-time strike from outside the box after coming on as a substitute for Fábio Coentrão.
On 10 July 2015, Marcelo signed a new contract with Real Madrid, keeping him at the club until 2020. On 18 October 2015, he scored his first goal of the season by scoring Real Madrid's first goal in a 3–0 home win against Levante.
On 13 September 2017, Marcelo signed a new contract which would keep him at the club until summer 2022. During the Champions League, he made eleven appearances, while scoring three goals, with Madrid winning their third consecutive and 13th overall Champions League title after defeating Liverpool 3–1 in the final.
2018–2022: Final seasons, captaincy, and departureEdit
He appeared sporadically in the 2020–21 season due to various injuries and was replaced by Ferland Mendy in the left-back position. He appeared in a total of 19 matches in all competitions as Real Madrid finished second in the league behind Atlético Madrid.
On 16 June 2021, it was announced that he would become the captain of Real Madrid from the start of the 2021–22 season, as the player who had been in the first team for the longest period of time after Sergio Ramos; he was assigned the role after Ramos left, making him the first foreign captain since 1904.
On 28 May 2022, Marcelo lifted his fifth Champions League trophy after defeating Liverpool 1–0 in the final at the Stade de France, despite not featuring in the game itself. After the final, Marcelo announced that he would leave the club after 15 years.
Marcelo scored on his Brazil debut on 5 September 2006, in a 2–0 victory against Wales at Tottenham Hotspur's White Hart Lane. He picked up the ball just outside the Wales box and shot for a traditional Brazilian full-back goal. Marcelo has been compared to former Brazil national team left-back Roberto Carlos, who also played for Real Madrid. The two had played together during the second half of the 2006–07 season before Carlos' move to Turkish club Fenerbahçe.
In May 2010, he was named as one of the seven players serving as backup for Brazil's 2010 FIFA World Cup squad. Despite not being called up by then Brazil coach Dunga, he was selected again by new boss Mano Menezes for a friendly against the United States on 10 August 2010. He was the Man of the Match for a friendly 2–1 win against Mexico away on 11 October 2011, scoring the winner by dribbling past several players and then blasting the goal into the net.
Marcelo was selected as a member of Luiz Felipe Scolari's 23-man Brazil squad that took part in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup on home soil. He was part of the Brazil's starting lineup for all five matches, including the 3–0 victory over Spain in the final on 30 June, at the Maracanã Stadium.
In the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which was once again played on home soil, Marcelo scored an own goal in the 11th minute of the opening game against Croatia on 12 June, deflecting a shot by Nikica Jelavić for the first goal of the competition. It was the first own goal that Brazil had conceded at the World Cup, although they eventually won the match 3–1.
In May 2018, he was named in the final squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. He wore the captain's armband in the first match and was a starter in four of the five matches Brazil played in the competition, until its elimination against Belgium in the quarter-finals on 6 July 2018, in what remains his last match with the national team.
Style of playEdit
After his breakthrough season, in 2011 Marcelo was praised by football legends such as Paolo Maldini and Diego Maradona, the latter of whom also called him the best player in the world in his position. Due to his attacking prowess, nationality, and playing role, Marcelo has frequently been compared to compatriot Roberto Carlos, who himself described Marcelo as his heir in 2012, and also labelled him as the world's best left back; regarding Marcelo's technical skills, he commented: "Marcelo possesses a better technical ability than me." Due to his skill, attacking abilities, achievements, and decisive performances in important games, Marcelo is considered by many in the sport to be the best left back in the world, one of Brazil's best players ever, and one of the greatest left backs of all time.
Known mainly for his offensive capabilities, trickery, and technical qualities, Marcelo plays mainly as a left-sided attacking full-back or wing-back, but can also operate as a left winger, or even in midfield. His flair, grace, touch, and control on the ball, coupled with his speed, agility, and dribbling skills, frequently see him beat opponents in one on one situations with elaborate feints, such as step overs. His explosive pace, energy, and clever movement, both on and off the ball, also make him a dangerous threat on counter-attacks; he is capable of penetrating between the opposing defensive lines with attacking runs, or getting up the left flank into good offensive positions from which he can receive the ball often, and provide width for his team, essentially acting as an additional forward.
Moreover, his crossing ability, precise passing, and his eye for the final ball also allow him to function as a secondary playmaker for his team, and enable him to link-up with other players, create goalscoring chances, and provide assists for teammates. While naturally left footed, he is also adept with his right foot, which enables him to cut inside from the left wing, attempt a shot from outside the area, and even score goals.[nb 1]
Despite his ability going forward, however, the defensive side of Marcelo's game has been brought into question by pundits on occasion, who have cited his defensive solidity, work-rate, concentration, positioning, and awareness as areas of weakness in need of improvement.
In 2017 Marcelo started investing in football clubs with his company DOZE ("Twelve"). The company became majority shareholder of Campeonato Paranaense club Azuriz based in Marmeleiro, Paraná. Later, in 2021, the company invested in the Portuguese club Mafra.
In 2008, Marcelo married his longtime girlfriend Clarice Alves and on 24 September 2009, they had their first child, a son named Enzo Gattuso Alves Vieira. Their second son, Liam was born on 1 September 2015.
He has a number of tattoos, including his shirt number and day of birth (12) tattooed onto his left arm.
He singled out his grandfather, Pedro Vieira, as the main supporter of and inspiration for his footballing career; his grandfather supported him financially so that he could start his career in Brazil. His grandfather died in July 2014, during the World Cup; Marcelo wanted to withdraw from the tournament to attend his funeral but stayed to play with the Brazil team to honor his grandfather's wishes.
In April 2013, Marcelo was unveiled as one of Adidas' new icons for the German brand during a promotional event at the Bernabéu store, showcasing the F50 adiZero and he joins an array of Real Madrid teammates that also wear the Adidas brand including Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema. At the event Marcelo said, "Throughout my career, I have achieved some of my dreams, and this is one too. Being next to these stars is fantastic. They have congratulated me, it's a great brand and I am happy."
- As of match played 11 November 2023
|Real Madrid||2006–07||La Liga||6||0||0||0||0||0||—||6||0|
|Olympiacos||2022–23||Super League Greece||5||0||2||3||3[f]||0||—||10||3|
- Includes Copa do Brasil, Copa del Rey, Greek Cup
- Appearances in UEFA Champions League
- Appearance(s) in Supercopa de España
- One appearance in UEFA Super Cup, two appearances in Supercopa de España, two appearances in FIFA Club World Cup
- One appearance in UEFA Super Cup, two appearances in FIFA Club World Cup
- Appearances in UEFA Europa League
- As of match played 6 July 2018
- Scores and results list Brazil's goal tally first:
|1||5 September 2006||White Hart Lane, London, England||Wales||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|2||11 October 2011||Estadio Corona, Torreón, Mexico||Mexico||2–1||2–1||Friendly|
|3||28 February 2012||AFG Arena, St. Gallen, Switzerland||Bosnia and Herzegovina||1–0||2–1||Friendly|
|4||30 May 2012||FedExField, Landover, United States||United States||3–1||4–1||Friendly|
|5||27 March 2017||Arena Corinthians, São Paulo, Brazil||Paraguay||3–0||3–0||2018 FIFA World Cup qualification|
|6||10 November 2017||Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France||Japan||2–0||3–1||Friendly|
- La Liga: 2006–07, 2007–08, 2011–12, 2016–17, 2019–20, 2021–22
- Copa del Rey: 2010–11, 2013–14
- Supercopa de España: 2008, 2012, 2017, 2019–20, 2021–22
- UEFA Champions League: 2013–14, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2021–22
- UEFA Super Cup: 2014, 2016, 2017
- FIFA Club World Cup: 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018
- Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Team of the Year: 2006
- France Football Team of the Decade (2010–2019)
- L'Équipe Team of the Season: 2011, 2016, 2017, 2018
- ESPN Best Left-back of the Year 2017, 2018
- UEFA Team of the Year: 2011, 2017, 2018
- FIFA FIFPro World XI: 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
- FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 2014, 2018
- La Liga Team of the Season: 2015–16
- Facebook FA La Liga Best Defender: 2016
- UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season: 2010–11, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
- ESM Team of the Year: 2015–16, 2016–17
- IFFHS Men's World Team: 2017, 2018
- IFFHS World Team of the Decade: 2011–2020
- IFFHS CONMEBOL Team of the Decade: 2011–2020
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