Marcelo has bid farewell at Real Madrid after 15 memorable years, with the long-serving Brazilian full-back saying he would be happy to see one of his former team-mates pass a record-setting haul of 25 trophies with the Blancos.
The 34-year-old defender, who moved to Santiago Bernabeu from Fluminense in January 2007, is leaving the Liga heavyweights with 546 appearances to his name and a historic collection of major silverware.
Another domestic title and Champions League crown were added to that haul in 2021-22 and Marcelo acknowledges that a few of those he is leaving behind in the Spanish capital could go on to better his achievements.
Who could break Marcelo’s trophy record at Real Madrid?
Marcelo is leaving Real as a free agent at the end of his contract, with many happy memories allowing him to look back fondly on six La Liga title triumphs, five Champions League wins, two Copas del Rey, five Spanish Super Cups, three UEFA Super Cups and four FIFA Club World Cup successes.
While his trophy collection stands at 25, there are members of Carlo Ancelotti’s current squad that are also into the 20s and may fancy their chances of raising a bar of individual excellence before their day comes to sever ties with Madrid.
Marcelo said at his final press conference when asked about who could break his record: “If they beat me, that will be a source of pride. [Karim] Benzema, Luka [Modric], Casemiro... whoever it is, I'm going to be very happy.”
Will Marcelo retire after leaving Real Madrid?
While he has no club for 2022-23 at present, Marcelo insists he will not be hanging up his boots and would have no problem facing Real in the future were their paths to cross again.
He said of his future plans: “I'm going to continue playing, I think I can continue. And if I play for Madrid there's no problem. I’m a Madridista, but I'm also a professional.”
Pressed on whether he would have liked to stay on at the Bernabeu for one more year, Marcelo added: “I don't feel like a legend. There's no problem leaving Madrid. Life doesn't end here. I don't leave saying ‘damn, I wanted one more year’.
“I'll always cheer for Real Madrid and between us all we've decided to go out like this and through the front door, looking at everyone's face. I didn't want to continue another year or two out of pity.”
Is Marcelo a Real Madrid legend?
His record for the Blancos will stand the test of time and suggests that he now sits above fellow countryman Roberto Carlos on a notable list of legendary left-backs at Real Madrid.
Marcelo is, however, reluctant to compare himself with others – particularly a World Cup-winning compatriot.
He said of topping Roberto Carlos: “It is very difficult to compare, because when you arrive at such a big club there are always great players.
“The journalists said that the replacement for Roberto Carlos was coming, but I wanted to be Marcelo. For me there has been no other like Roberto. He is the best in history. My name is Marcelo and I am doing my story.”