Nobody does not love Marcelo. The ever smiling Brazilian has shown flashes of Roberto Carlos as he has marauded down Madrid's left flank over the last seven years. However, his lack of defensive integrity had been constantly exposed, especially in tense matches. Therefore it seemed reasonable for Real Madrid to seek an alternate, more defensively oriented, left-back to share the position with the Brazilian.
After months of transfer rumors, Real complied a package of €30 Million and Ezequiel Garay to pry Portuguese starlet Fábio Coentrão away from Benfica. While he has featured in many important matches during the course of his first two seasons in Madrid, generally difficult road games , Coentrão rarely stood out. Worse yet, his nasty behavior left a poor taste in the mouths of Madridistas.
However, following the recent injury to Marcelo, Coentrão has finally proven that he is absolutely a world class left-back. After quelling Lionel Messi and launching the counter attack that led to Gareth Bale's timeless winner in the Copa Final, Coentrão followed up with an absolute masterclass in defending Ajern Robben- while also providing the assist to cap a blistering counter attack against Bayern.
It may have taken three years and a change in manager to finally see the true value of Fábio Coentrão, but if his performances continue in this light, it has absolutely been worth it.