Real Madrid: Marcelo Simply Isn’t Good Enough Anymore

Real Madrid, Marcelo (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Marcelo (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images) /

The time has come for Real Madrid to say goodbye to Marcelo.

Even writing the title of this piece is painful. Marcelo, the Real Madrid left-back who has made us get up off our seats countless times, who has shown his loyalty to the team in countless ways and the player who wears our shirt with pride regardless of the circumstances is simply not good enough anymore.

Unfortunately, this is football. You’re only as good as your current form, and it doesn’t take much to see that the Brazilian has gone from being a lethal asset to the team to becoming its biggest liability when he’s in the starting lineup.

Last season, Zinedine Zidane decided to stick with him and bring in Ferland Mendy while sending Sergio Reguilon on loan to Sevilla. All signs pointed to this being Marcelo’s final season at the club while we would witness Reguilon and Mendy as our left-backs for this campaign.

During the summer though, things changed as the club decided to stick with the Brazilian while selling Reguilon to Tottenham Hotspur in a move that ended up with Gareth Bale going back to his old club on loan.

Even though Marcelo wasn’t anywhere near his best last season, he started in 15 matches and had an average rating of 7.15, according to WhoScored. Aside from a spectacular performance in El Clasico, Marcelo had his ups and downs but fears were slightly brushed aside as the Brazilian was expectedly playing his final season with the club.

Now that he stayed – which, to be clear, I’m not blaming him for – his performances have dipped even further and we are at a point where we simply cannot excuse it anymore and we need to face the truth: Marcelo simply isn’t good enough anymore.

Marcelo and Sergio Ramos  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Marcelo and Sergio Ramos  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images) /

Marcelo is trying his best, but it’s not good enough for Real Madrid

Known for his ability to go forward effectively while making it back in time to defend when required, Marcelo does not have the pace or stamina to do that anymore. Instead, he goes forward with less effectiveness than he had in the past – which is also not completely his fault as Cristiano Ronaldo was there to help previously – and leaves the whole left flank open.

Against many teams, such as Cadiz last weekend and particularly Shakhtar Donetsk, they bombard his position because they know he’s the weak link. To put that into more perspective, Ferland Mendy was playing out of position as a right-back and wasn’t having a great game but the opponents still saw Marcelo as the weak link and they were right. Is he to blame for the fact that Real Madrid were 0-3 down at half time? Not completely, obviously but he does shoulder some of it.

He tries, he really does. No one is blaming him for lack of trying to turn things around but isn’t that worse in a way? He knows what the public have been saying about him and he is mature enough to know what needs to be done. He tries to do it but he can’t. Why? Because his body just doesn’t function that way anymore.

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Marcelo is a legend. He’s someone who will be remembered for years to come and the images of him on his knees in tears after Real Madrid’s UEFA Champions League triumph will forever live in the minds of many in addition to some of his greatest moments in the Real Madrid shirt.

He came into the team as a young left-back to replace the legendary Roberto Carlos and he did it brilliantly. We should never forget what the player has given us and what he has helped us accomplish since his arrival to the club. However, the time to say goodbye has unfortunately arrived a while back as some fans have reluctantly lowered their admiration for him but it’s always better late than never. We need to let Marcelo go and that’s the painful truth.