Cristiano Ronaldo has paid a glowing tribute to Marcelo after the Brazilian defender announced his departure from Real Madrid.
The 34-year-old leaves following 15 glorious years at the Bernabeu, as he won five Champions League titles and six La Liga titles in a trophy-laden spell in the Spanish capital.
He leaves as the most decorated Real player of all-time, and made a total of 545 Los Blancos appearances, scoring 38 goals and registering 103 assists.
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Ronaldo was Marcelo’s team-mate for nine years and was alongside the Brazilian for four of his five Champions League titles.
The pair were also close friends off the pitch, and the Portuguese superstar has praised someone he described as “more than a team-mate.”
“More than a team-mate, a brother that football gave me,” said Ronaldo.
“On and off the fields, one of the biggest stars with whom I had the pleasure of sharing a locker room.
“Go with everything on this new adventure, Marcelo!”
The defender made an emotional farewell to the club in a press conference on Monday, and struggled to hold back the tears in front of his former team-mates, family and friends.
He said in quotes via Reuters: “I walk out of here with my head held high. My family is very proud of me.
“I feel very fortunate, everything I have had in my life has been with work, but I have been lucky with the people I have had by my side. Thank you very much to you all.
“This is not a goodbye; I do not feel that I am leaving Real Madrid. The club’s future is secure with promising young talent, and in that I include my son, who is playing well in the academy. I arrived as a child, and I leave as a man.”
There has been no official confirmation where Marcelo will be going next, but insists he will not be retiring.
The full-back could remain in Spain, but has also had offers to play in MLS and in his native Brazil.
“I don’t think much about the future, I like to live in the moment. But it’s really hard to leave the club that you played your entire life,” he added.
“I’m not scared about the future. I’ve done what I wanted here and I’m looking forward to what’s next. Not with fear of uncertainty, but with excitement.”
Marcelo made only 18 appearances during his final season at the Bernabeu, but understood his role as more of a peripheral figure, as the club achieved domestic and European success.
“I argued with Ancelotti and (Zinedine) Zidane last season because I wanted to play more, but as this year progressed, I learnt that you can be useful in other ways outside the pitch. As a leader in the locker room, I learned to appreciate what my team mates were doing.”
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