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Solari: “Marcelo is a great player and our second captain”

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Real Madrid Training Session and Press Conference Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari talked to the press ahead of Wednesday’s match against Ajax in the first leg of the Champions League’s Round of 16. Solari praised Ajax and also publicly supported Marcelo, who might have lost his starting spot.

“Marcelo is a great player and is our second captain. He’s a club legend and he always puts Real Madrid ahead of everything else. He’s training really well, just like the rest of the players. We all love him and he always trains with a smile on his face,” said Solari about the Brazilian left-back.

Ajax have been playing well offensively this season although it’s true that they might not be solid enough defensively to compete against Madrid until the very last minute of the tie.

“I don’t think that their form is bad, I don’t agree with that. They’re having a good season and they’re a side with some very good players that link up well. You’ve got to respect all of your opponents because they have deserved to win their games,” explained the coach.

Real Madrid have been completing some encouraging performances lately, beating quality teams like Sevilla, Atletico de Madrid or Valencia while also earning a solid draw at the Camp Nou against Barcelona.

“That’s what this job is like. When you lose, everything is an apocalypse and when you win, all is well. We just focus on competing and tomorrow we have our next game. That’s where our focus lies because it’s an important match. That’s the way us coaches and players see things and it’s good that that’s how it is,” concluded Solari.