Real Madrid legend Marcelo gave an interview to ESPN’s Martin Ainstein in what was a wonderfully candid conversation about Marcelo’s time at the club. Here are some of the standout quotes from the interview:
Which players surprised him the most?
“I’ve been lucky enough to play for Madrid and I’ve seen the best. In each training session I would say “how did he do that?!” The three who surprised me the most are: Toni Kroos, Rodrygo and Modric. Kroos, because I don’t know what’s going on in his head, it seems like he’s in his world and he does incredible controls, he manages to dribble with control against the players who come from behind — I’ve never seen it.
“The other is Rodrygo — the typical player who was born with natural gifts. He dribbles with his body... He’s the ‘false slow’, because he’s very fast with the ball.
“And the other is Luka Modric. There are no words. You can’t imagine what Luka is going to do with the ball. One day Rodrygo, Lucas Vázquez and I were on the bench and Luka came in through the middle and came to recover a ball and was cornered, locked up... he dribbled without touching the ball and the one who was marking him didn’t know where he was”.
The traits of Mourinho, Ancelotti, Zidane
“The best in terms of his talks, was Mourinho — a coach who specializes in getting into your head. It changed me into being aggressive.
“In group management I’d say Zizou, because there was a time when Kiko Casilla played 25 games and Keylor Navas smiled on the bench. He kept everyone happy.
“Carlo kept his calm way of being. We scored a goal and we were always calm. It was very good for me to have him.. In my last season in that situation I was the captain of the team, but he preferred to player someone else, and that’s normal, and he has helped me on this issue.”
More on his last season at the club
“I knew I wasn’t the starter and I said: what can I do to help the team? I was screwed for not playing, of course. There is no player who says he is happy to be on the bench. And if he says so, he is lying, It’s impossible. I trained to the fullest.
“I helped my teammates by competing in training and I felt very useful. My way of being and my joy have contributed a lot, too. I felt like a winner too... This season was the best because I learned a lot as a human being”.
Forever a Madridista
“It’s my home. I arrived at the age of 18 and I’ve learned all the values of Madrid. I learned from Raúl, Casillas, Ramos... Leaving my home was difficult, but I feel like I haven’t left Real Madrid.
“I’m not in Madrid now, but I haven’t left. I see myself returning to Madrid, trying to help the children. I don’t see myself coming back without doing anything, but helping just as I did when I arrived at the age of 18, contributing my bit”.
Real Madrid’s remontadas
“Real Madrid teaches you. My first year was that of comebacks in LaLiga (06-07) and there was no better school than that. Vini, Rodrygo and Fede knew about that and they asked me about those games, they already knew about it.”