“I couldn’t breathe. I was trying not to panic. This was in the dressing room right before the Champions League final against Liverpool in 2018. Everything had started the night before the final. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking only of the match,” said the Brazilian defender.
“A little bit of nerves is normal in football. I don’t care who you are, if you’re not feeling anxious before playing in a final, you’re not a real person. I don’t care who you are. You’re just trying not to shit your pants. It’s the truth, brother!” explains Marcelo.
Former Real Madrid player and coach Jorge Valdano was worried about Marcelo covering Mohammed Salah before the game and the defender used those comments as motivation.
“A few days before the final a former Real Madrid player had said something about me on TV that stuck in my head. He’d been asked what he thought about the final, and he said, “I think Marcelo should buy a poster of Mohamed Salah, put it up on his wall, and pray to it every night. After 12 years and 3 Champions League trophies, he disrespected me like this on live TV. This comment was meant to sink me. But it gave me so much motivation,” explains Marcelo.
It’s nice seeing that an elite player like Marcelo, with so many trophies and tough games under his belt, admits that every single member of the squad gets nervous ahead of such monumental games.
You can read his whole piece for Players’ Tribune here.