Real Madrid: This stat sums up how much Marcelo struggled at Valencia

Real Madrid, Marcelo (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Marcelo (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid left back Marcelo has been a shell of his former self in 2020-2021, and those struggles continued at the Mestalla on Sunday.

Arguably the best left back of his era and a true Real Madrid legend, Marcelo hasn’t lived up to his lofty expectations in the past two seasons. A decline is inevitable for players, especially attacking fullbacks who need their speed to avoid getting caught out, and the Brazilian has hit a real wall in the 2020-2021 season.

Last year, Marcelo showed signs of slowing down, but he was still an effective player. He had his issues defensively, but he made up for them in attack and wasn’t a huge liability. Marcelo even played well in some big games for Real Madrid last season, including the crucial 2-0 win over Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Now, though, Marcelo has been terrible. Madridistas can no longer trust him in the big games, and Zinedine Zidane’s decision to start him puzzled the players. Ferland Mendy is clearly the first-choice player, while Marcelo’s mistakes have costed Real goals and games this season.

That was true at the Mestalla in Sunday’s 4-1 loss to Valencia in a game Real Madrid, at least on paper, should have dominated. Marcelo was far from the only problem, but he conceded a penalty and was ineffective on both ends of the pitch. And one stat in particular stands out.

Marcelo could not keep possession for Real Madrid on Sunday

According to Mario de la Riva of AS, Marcelo lost the ball more times than any other player on Real Madrid and misplaced the most passes with 12 inaccurate balls.

But it’s the number of times Marcelo lost the ball that is truly frightening.


Yes, a defensive player who is supposed to be known for his ability to carry the ball and create effective chances lost the ball 23 times. That is unacceptable, and not only does it waste attacks for a team, but it also leaves the side vulnerable to counters.

Think about it this way. That means Marcelo lost the ball about once every four minutes. Every four minutes, Marcelo potentially stopped his own team’s momentum and gave the other team a chance to create something.

dark. Next. Takeaways from Real Madrid's loss to Valencia

Marcelo could start on occasion even though he had defensive issues, since the logic was that he could create more goals than he may allow with his lack of speed or aggressive attacking positioning. But now, the stats are showing that Marcelo’s offensive production has waned to the point where he is a detriment to the team in the final third, too.