It feels symbolic and almost poetic that Marcelo Vieira da Silva Júnior, or Marcelo for short, has 527 Real Madrid appearances under his belt.
That's the exact same number that Roberto Carlos, his fellow compatriot and swashbuckling left-back, racked up in the famous white jersey of Los Blancos, an iconic strip that Marcelo has excelled in since 2007.
Since his arrival at the Bernabéu, it didn't take long for Marcelo to become one of the cornerstones of a Real Madrid dynasty under Zinedine Zidane, a period in which the club won four Champions League titles in five years between 2014 and 2018. Lifting European club football's most coveted prize for three years running was an unprecedented, almost unthinkable feat at the time, the likes of which we are highly unlikely to see again in this lifetime or the next.
Throughout his career, the Brazilian has been a marauding presence down the left flank, often deploying himself as a playmaker during periods of sustained possession. That's how comfortable he is on the ball, which isn't a surprise given his nationality. Marcelo has offered such an attacking threat for over a decade that it's pretty easy to forget that he's a defender by trade.
His time at Real Madrid cannot go on forever though. After being usurped by Ferland Mendy in Zinedine Zidane's starting XI, the man who turns 33 today won't be blamed if he strongly considers his options for next season.
Marcelo's legacy at Real Madrid, however, is cast in stone, and his presence in the dressing room will be sorely missed when he eventually calls time on a glorious chapter in the Spanish capital.
He has excelled for the most successful club in European history during their most glorious period by far, and he has done so alongside some of the game's greatest names. If this wasn't already clear, Marcelo is an icon in his own right.
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