Marcelo Vieira da Silva Júnior (born 12 May 1988), known as Marcelo, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Real Madrid and the Brazil national team. He plays mainly at left back but can also operate as a left winger.
He is very often compared to Roberto Carlos, who himself said Marcelo was his heir, the world’s best left back and that “Marcelo possesses a better technical ability than me”.
Marcelo started playing futsal at the age of nine and by the age of 13, he was on the books of Fluminense in Rio de Janeiro. He comes from a very poor background and even considered quitting football, but his club considered him as one of their “crown jewels” and ensured that he continued playing.
Marcelo joined Real Madrid during the January transfer window in 2007. On his arrival, club President Ramón Calderón said, “He is an important signing for us. He is a young player who will inject some freshness into the side and is part of our plan to bring younger players into the squad. We’re very happy because he’s a pearl that half of Europe wanted.” Many spectators hailed him as Roberto Carlos’ potential successor in the left-back role.
Marcelo made his debut as a substitute in the 2–0 defeat against Deportivo La Coruña on 7 January 2007. On 14 April 2007, then coach Fabio Capello gave Marcelo his first start for Real Madrid against Racing de Santander. Real Madrid controversially lost the game 2–1. In the 2007–08 season, Marcelo had started nearly all of Madrid’s league games under the new manager Bernd Schuster. His ability, speed running across the field, attack, and defence had enabled him to become a very important player for Real Madrid.
In the 2010–11 season under new coach José Mourinho, Marcelo was back in his natural position of left back. He started all league games, paying back the coach’s confidence in him with defensive steel and attacking intent and gained the coach’s admiration. On 25 November 2010, Marcelo was named as a part of the 55 player shortlist for the FIFA World XI. He scored his first goal of the new season in a 1–0 win against RCD Espanyol on 13 February.
Marcelo scored on his Brazil debut against Wales at Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane (the score finished 2–0). He picked up the ball just outside the Wales box and shot for a traditional Brazilian full-back goal. Marcelo has been compared to former Real Madrid and Brazilian national team left-back Roberto Carlos They are both Brazilian left backs who played for Real Madrid. Both of them are left backs who can push up and score goals. The two had played together during the second half of the 2006–07 season before Carlos’ move to Turkish team Fenerbahçe.
He was called up for the 2008 Olympic squad, where he won a bronze medal.