Sunday, December 10, 2023

Marcelo puts the Libertadores above the Champions: “Real Madrid will understand”

The Brazilian Fluminense won against Boca Juniors (1-2) the first Libertadores Cup of its history after winning in extra time. A very special title for the team he trains Fernando Dinizinterim of the Rio team, but even more so for one of its most illustrious components: Marcelo Vieira, the player who has won the most titles with him Real Madrid (25), along with Karim Benzema. Despite his spectacular achievements, the 35-year-old winger said he achieved this Saturday at Maracaná the “most important trophy at club level, Real Madrid will understand it”.

Marcelo signed for Fluminense in February of this year. He meant returning to his origins, since he was trained in the tricolor team. He did it after leaving Olympiakos, a club he joined in the summer of 2022 after 16 years at the white club. Precisely, Real Madrid signed the Brazilian in the winter market of the 2006/2007 seasonpaying the newly crowned Libertadores champion an amount that was around six million euros.

“Fluminense is the club where I grew up”

His incorporation was accompanied by nicknames such as “He is the new Roberto Carlos”, although Marcelo managed to develop his own style that he maintains, as he demonstrated in the heartfelt celebration of the Copa Libertadores. “Real Madrid will understand, it is the most important title at club level, because it’s the team I grew up on. “Real Madrid is in my heart, but it’s even difficult to talk about Fluminense,” acknowledged, on the verge of tears, a player who won five Champions League titles with the Spanish team.

Marcelo celebrates the Copa Libertadores won by Fluminense in Maracaná. EFE

I did not leave Rio de Janeiro, that is stuck in us. It’s impossible for you to leave. I am not in Madrid now, but I have not left. I see myself returning to Real Madrid, trying to help the children. I don’t see myself returning without doing anything, but I do help, just like when I arrived when I was 18, contributing my grain of sand,” he acknowledged in an interview with ‘ESPN’ after certifying his return to Fluminense and his hometown, where precisely crowned with his training team.

“Look what this means for Marcelo”

Marcelo is not living a retirement in Brazilian football, which, thanks to its greater economic muscle, has won six of the last seven Libertadores contested. The winger started as a starter and had to come off in the 80th minute, with the game tied at one goal. The ex-Madrid player lived with great emotion the final moments of a match with a goal of John Kennedy in the 99th minute. The explosion of happiness experienced in Maracaná was such that the hero of the night ended up being sent off when he saw the second yellow in the celebration.

As soon as Fluminense’s title was confirmed, the making of the final went directly to Marcelo, who, soaked in tears on the bench, was unable to move. Until he calmed down and took to the green to celebrate with the rest of the squad. The defender’s commitment was applauded by all the Rio fans. “Look what this means for Marcelo. Fluminense needs to win this game,” “Marcelo is a serial winner, a legend”“He started his career at ‘Flu’, he went to Real Madrid, where he won everything; and now he has returned to win the Libertadores,” one could read on social networks.

Marcelo Vieira, former Real Madrid player, during a set in the Copa Libertadores final. EFE

Only one final loss in a single match

With the great scepter of South American football, Marcelo has won 30 titles, and of the 16 single-match finals he has played in, he has only lost one. It was the 2018 European Super Cup that Real Madrid, coached by Julen Lopetegui, lost to Atlético. Marcelo was a starter and saw a yellow card at 2-4 in favor of Simeone’s team, who achieved the unthinkable. Take the whites to extra time and beat them to the brink.

Marcelo became the 15th player capable of winning a Champions League and a Libertadores, the two most important club titles on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. The first to achieve this was Juan Pablo Sorín, but no other has been able to do so with five European Cups under his belt.. Only his former teammate Danilo comes close, who won the 2011 Libertadores with Santos (and the Champions League in 2016 and 2017) and goalkeeper Dida, who won with Cruzeiro in 1997 (and won the European Cups in 2003 and 2007). Marcelo is, without a doubt, a legend of World football, so his weighting between the Libertadores and the Champions League, with such an extensive record behind him, is the fairest that can exist.

What are the 30 titles that Marcelo has won?

In addition to this Copa Libertadores and the Five Champions Leagues won with Real Madrid (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2022), Marcelo has won a Confederations Cup with Brazil (2013), two Cariocas Championships (2005 and 2023) and a Taça Rio (2005) with Fluminense and another 20 titles with Real Madrid: six Leagues (2007, 2008, 2012, 2017, 2020 and 2022), five Spanish Super Cups (2008, 2012, 2017, 2020 and 2022), two Cups ( 2011 and 2014), three European Super Cups (2014, 2016 and 2017) and four Club World Cups (2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018).


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