Should Real Madrid give Marcelo another season?

Real Madrid, Marcelo (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Marcelo (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images) /

Marcelo’s legendary Real Madrid career is seemingly coming to an end this summer. The Brazilian left-back has been with the club since 2007 as he was brought in to replace yet another Brazilian left-back in Roberto Carlos. The rest, as they say, is history.

The 33-year-old has done it all in the Spanish capital. He has won 6 La Liga trophies, 5 Spanish Super Cups, 4 UEFA Champions League trophies, 4 FIFA World Cup trophies, 3 European Super Cups, and 2 Copas del Rey since his arrival. He may even be adding a fifth Champions League trophy before this month comes to an end. He has been able to cap it all off with the captaincy this season as well after the departure of Sergio Ramos last summer. However, history is one thing and the future is another.

Marcelo has declined in recent seasons and is no longer part of the starting lineup. His opportunities have drastically lessened and the arrival of Ferland Mendy in 2019 has kept the Brazilian on the sidelines. With his contract ending this summer, the question now is whether Los Merengues should bank on keeping him for one more season or if they should part ways now.

The one clear thing is that Marcelo will not get many more chances than he has over the course of this season, where so far he has started five times in the league and come on as a substitute in six. As for the other competitions, he started in one Copa del Rey match and came on as a substitute in three UEFA Champions League games. Those are extremely low numbers for any player and there is reason to believe that it will be even lower if he stays.

Keeping Marcelo does not make sense from a business perspective

One of the biggest issues with the captain extending his stay will be his replacement. At the moment, reports suggest that Real Madrid are looking at who will be the backup at left-back and it’s between Miguel Gutierrez and Fran Garcia. Marcelo signing a new contract would almost definitely stop this search. With Ferland Mendy as the starter, Marcelo will be the backup. Having Miguel or Garcia as yet another backup is simply not a viable option. But things get even more complicated if Real Madrid sign Antonio Rudiger, as reports have suggested.

Rudiger will join and want to be a starter, which is his right after his performances with Chelsea. Therefore, there is reason to believe that the new center-back partnership at the club will consist of Eder Militao and Rudiger. What happens to David Alaba? He moves to left-back. That suddenly changes everything as Alaba begins to compete with Mendy for the left-back spot leaving Marcelo in total darkness.

No matter how you look at it, Marcelo shouldn’t stay. He won’t play and will be paid wages that, without any disrespect to the legend, could be used for other players who will be able to make a difference on the pitch. However, there is actually another possibility that is a little farfetched but not at all impossible.

What if Marcelo stays, signs a contract much smaller than the one he’s on now and is just the Real Madrid captain? His character has played a part in leading the team to where they are right now. He is loved by everyone at the club and is a massive personality in the dressing room. Even when he isn’t on the pitch, his presence on the sidelines only helps the club move forward. Is that a viable option?

If we will be thinking of it from a business perspective, then probably not. As I mentioned earlier, anything paid to Marcelo can be used to pay for other players. But if the club and player are able to come to some sort of agreement that both are happy with and doesn’t hinder the club’s future plans, then why not?

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At the moment, all signs point to this summer being the end of Marcelo’s epic Real Madrid career but stranger things have happened. Until anything official is communicated by the club, expect anything to happen. But whether Marcelo stays or leaves, his legacy will be here to stay forever.