Marcelo: “It’s hard to leave the club of your life”

Marcelo addressed the media at the press conference held after the tribute and farewell ceremony that took place at Real Madrid City. Here’s his interview in full:

“I don’t think much about the future, I always live in the moment. It’s hard to leave the club of your life after so much joy, suffering, training, pain, giving your all for the club. Putting on this shirt is a beautiful and powerful thing. The future doesn’t scare me because history’s already been written, I had to do this. I’m pleased with myself and my family’s proud of me too. There’s no uncertainty.”

“Today is my happiest day here because I’ve done everything I set out to do and I leave here feeling happy. I leave behind a legacy for the youngsters. Watching Vinicius, Rodrygo, Valverde, the youngsters, playing is absolutely priceless. Leaving here and being seen as the person I am is the most powerful thing for me. When I stop playing I’d like to get the chance to return to Real Madrid because of the way I try to treat everyone the same. I don’t think there’ll be a problem coming back, although I don’t feel like I’m really leaving. I haven’t thought about what I’m going to miss because you can’t miss something you have.”


“I haven’t thought about retiring, I think I can continue to play and play well. I don’t think it would be a problem to play against Madrid because of the fondness I have for them. If I have to do it one day, I’m very professional and Madrid showed me how to be that way. I’m ready for anything that might come my way.”


“After a period of time playing for such a big club as Madrid, I’ve been lucky enough to play loads of games and have a good career. I haven’t had many injuries and I’ve encountered special coaches and great teammates. Each coach has his own philosophy and each one offers something different.”

Describing his mark on history

“I don’t think I can possibly describe this because I’ve always lived in the moment, and not thought beyond that. Here I’ve been given the opportunity to win enormous things, to play in tournaments on magical nights at the Bernabéu. I can only be grateful for all these years that I have experienced a great life, a happy life, and a smile on my face. I’ve been lucky enough not to have many injuries, to do some good moves and score the odd goal. You can have talent and be hard-working, but if you’re not lucky, it’s tough.”


“All I leave behind here is humility and awareness of where you are, which is so important. Now I’ve been talking to my relatives about the five Champions League trophies I’ve won. I played the first four finals but not the last one. And this was the final where I felt most important because I had a five-minute chat with Rodrygo on the bench, and also with Militão, and I didn’t do that in the other four finals. It’s great to play, to provide assists and score goals, but for me the most beautiful thing was having the chat with the youngsters, hugging them when there were three minutes left on the clock, and that’s the legacy I’d like to leave behind. I want the youngsters to realise that anything’s possible.”

Departing Madrid

“I don’t feel like a legend. I’ve never considered myself one, everyone can think what they want. I feel like a player who wants to achieve goals and win things. As for the length of the contract, there’s no issue with leaving a team. The world isn’t ending now, I’m not going to stop living because I’m leaving Real Madrid. I’ve learnt a lot of beautiful things in life away from football. We’ve decided this together and today’s a day for joy. I’ll always be with Madrid, wherever I go I’ll be just another fan. I couldn’t be at Madrid without making a contribution and I wanted to leave via the front door, looking at everyone’s faces and greeting them.”

“This season I felt a huge weight and responsibility. At times I got really angry with Ancelotti and argued with him, but the next day we hugged. This season I realised that you don’t need to play to be important, you need to be part of a team and understand the coach. I’ve learnt a lot from everyone.”

His grandfather Pedro

“My grandfather’s played a massive part in everything I’ve achieved to date. He always gave me the freedom to choose what I wanted and that helped me grow up and mature at an earlier age. I arrived at Madrid when I was 18, my wife was 17, and I used to think I was mature, but today I look at the kids of that age and I see that I wasn’t. I’ve done what I had to do and I feel relaxed.”

The fans

“The affection I’ve received from the fans is something that will forever remain in my heart. They’ve given me great joy. One day, they sung happy birthday to me and I’ve never seen that before at a football stadium. Many people have asked me to stay on and that’s very nice of them. I’m delighted that I’m a popular figure, not only as a player but also as a human being, which is the most important thing for me.”

A future in football management

“I don’t think that I’ve got what it takes to become a coach. I can’t see me doing that. There are other things that I’m better at. To be honest, I’ve never understood tactics and have just enjoyed playing football. I don’t have the same desire to become a coach as I did to become a player.”

First day at Madrid

“It was all very strange, I had only ever watched Madrid on the television. I was really wowed by the Santiago Bernabéu. I wasn’t aware of what was going on the first day, but today has been the best day of my life because I head away from here and leave a legacy behind.”

Academy and future

“I’m a big fan of the academy. I’m aware of how they look after the young players here, how they train and I know virtually everything about how the academy set-up works. I also know how the first team works and that when the young players are promoted to the first team it’s a massive set-up. The future is promising for us”.

His son Enzo

“When I watch him play, I turn into a different person. It’s crazy. I can’t put it into words. Watching him compete for this club is the greatest thing I’ve experienced as a father”.

Who do you want to exceed your trophy haul?

“For somebody to beat me would be an honour and give me pride and joy. I leave here feeling happy and with many trophies and whoever beats my trophy haul will also leave here in great shape. I’ll be really happy regardless of whoever it is.”

Comparison with Roberto Carlos

“Roberto was my idol. When you join such a great club, there are always great players in every position. It was difficult for me because you, the press, were saying that Roberto’s substitute was now here, but I never wanted to be his substitute. I always wanted to write my own story as Marcelo. I believe that there has never been a wing-back like him in the history of the game. My name is Marcelo and I’m still writing my own story.”

Decision not to stay

“We had a meeting in which we all had our say and we came to a joint decision that the best thing was for me to leave now. It’s an emotional decision because it’s not easy to leave the club you’ve been at your whole life, but things gradually got easier and there was a realisation that it was  actually happening.”

Butragueño: “It’s been an honour to witness your talent and sacrifice​”

Emilio Butragueño, Real Madrid’s Director of Institutional Relations, accompanied Marcelo at the press conference: “My dear friend Marcelo, thank you so much for everything you’ve given to all of us madridistas. It’s been an honour to witness your talent and sacrifice to enrich this shirt, the shirt of the club of your life. You’re one of the great legends of Real Madrid, the player who has won the most trophies in the club’s history. We’d like to wish you all the best and you know that this is and always will be your home.”

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