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Why longtime starter Marcelo is out of favour at Real Madrid

19:59 EAT 25/01/2019
Marcelo Real Madrid 2018-19
Long considered one of the world's best left-backs, the Brazilian has recently lost his spot to Sergio Reguilon

Marcelo, for so long a mainstay at left-back at Real Madrid, is currently out of favour. 

Sergio Reguilon has taken the Brazilian's place as Madrid’s first-choice left-back for the time being, as Marcelo started his first game at left-back on Thursday since January 6.

Before then, Reguilon had started three consecutive matches at left-back, as the Castilla product continues to impress under Santiago Solari.

The sight of Marcelo on the bench is an odd one for any Madrid supporter, with the 30-year-old having established himself among the world’s best at his position over the past decade.

But injuries have affected Marcelo this term, the Brazilian having missed 10 games with various muscle problems, and he has not been at his best when healthy either.

Additionally, Marcelo has struggled with his weight throughout his career, and his lack of consistent playing time this season has made it difficult for him to maintain his peak fitness.

Despite his stuttering campaign so far Solari has insisted that he is still a big backer of Marcelo, and that he has reacted well to his recent benching. 

"His love for the club and his commitment to the club and his joy at training are undoubted, and his behaviour is impeccable. All these things must be praised,” the Madrid manager said on Wednesday.

"It's always a difficult task to pick the team."

Indeed, Madrid sources have confirmed to Goal that Marcelo’s response to his recent benching has been positive, and he is continuing to train hard with the hope of regaining his spot in Solari’s team.

Unlike the case of Isco, another Madrid player out of favour, Marcelo’s relationship with Solari remains good, with no personal animosity between the pair.

However, if Marcelo continues to be unable to regain his spot, rumours linking him with a summer switch to Juventus will increase.

Several Madrid players have been tipped to follow Cristiano Ronaldo in making the move to Turin, and Ronaldo himself seemed to encourage his former team-mate to join him in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport last month.

“Marcelo is strong, we open the doors to good players and Marcelo is one of them,” the Portuguese said.

For now, though, Marcelo is happy at Madrid and Solari is still counting on him, despite his recent benching.