The six months of Marcelo and Isco, the legend and the bitterness after a historical cycle

07 Jan 2022 | 05:57 | Football

Both end their contract in June. In Madrid, the Brazilian is adored, exemplary off the field in his work as a ‘teacher’ with young people like Vinicius and Rodrygo. The Andalusian, star in 2018, has suffered an inexplicable downturn three years ago.

Marcelo, Isco, Valverde and Nacho, against Alcoyano. Jose Breton AP

Marcelo, Isco, Valverde and Nacho, against Alcoyano. Jose Breton AP

On January 7, 2007 , exactly 15 years ago , a Brazilian teenager named Marcelo jumped onto the Riazor lawn with a Real Madrid jersey . He was 18 years old and was playing his first match dressed in white. The first of the 535 he has played as a Real Madrid player. He replaced Michel Salgado and took the first steps in a career that has made him an absolute legend at the Santiago Bernabéu . Those 535 games make him the second foreigner with the most appearances in the club’s history, behind Benzema (585) and only seven out ofGuti , twelfth on the general list. The curiosity, which the legend always makes, is that if the Brazilian plays eight games in the remainder of the season, he will end his career at Madrid in 12th place in games played. Your number.

On his trophy shelf, another figure that elevates him to Madrid’s altars: 22 titles . Who knows if 23 in a few days. Who knows if 24, or 25, or 26 in a few months … Marcelo is one trophy away from matching Gento and Sanchís , big words, and two from becoming the player with the most titles in Madrid’s history . The Super Cup , the Champions League , the League and the Cup are your options. Another thing is how the protagonist is in all this.


At 33 years old , on his way to 34, the Brazilian full-back is playing his last minutes as a Real Madrid player. Ten, one hundred, five hundred … Chance, Mendy’s injuries and Ancelotti’s needs will give him more or less time on the pitch, but it is a tunnel in which the light is seen closer and closer. Marcelo, the first captain of the squad, ends his contract in June of this year and in Chamartín it is assumed that there will be no renewal . If the contracts were signed for love, the defender, adored both in the offices and in the locker room, would have a place for life on the grass of Valdebebas , but the physical downturnthe left-hander is more evident every month, both in the sensations and in the statistics. This course has played 274 minutes spread over just seven games, and the number of games per year for the last four speaks for itself: 44 in 17-18, 34 in 18-19, 23 in 19-20, 19 in the 20-21 …

The flame of the second best (or best) left-back that the Bernabéu has seen went out at age 30 , when footballers’ careers reached their zenith. Chamartín has watched him with a certain desperation during the last two or three seasons, but with the love and devotion of someone who has won everything in the time he has been able to. Title in three of the four Champions League finals and a shock in Lisbon, Madrid will give all the facilities to Marcelo in the stage that will begin this summer. If you decide to retire, the doors of the sports city will be open. If you decide to live for a few years in Brazil, from where he left at 18, will carry a note with a “see you soon” in his backpack. At the club, aware of the role of teacher he has had with young people like Vinicius, Rodrygo and Militao , they want him as close as possible.


Isco Alarcón lives a different situation . Like Marcelo and Bale , he ends his contract next June, but if in the case of the Brazilian his spark ended at age 30, with the Andalusian the taste is much more bitter. Isco started the 18-19 season as a star of Madrid and the national team. At the age of 26 , he came from being indisputable in the World Cup and the arrival of Lopetegui to the Madrid bench turned a large part of the club’s future on him. The departure of Cristiano would open wide the doors of a title he had already lived in the final of the Champions 2017 at the Juventus, one of the best matches for Zidane’s Madrid , and in the decisive duel in Kiev 2018. Like Marcelo , he was decisive in Lisbon, being one of the protagonists of the historic Madrid cycle. That is why Madrid renewed him in 2017 with a 700 million clause .

But the dismissal of Lopetegui, the arrival of Solari and the return of Zidane led Isco to hell. Sportingly he stopped counting and emotionally he did not have the head to fight. The result is that its market value has fallen from 80 to 9 million , accumulates only 195 minutes this course, 29 since September 25, and has not appeared on a selection list since June 2019. A situation and a inexplicable slump for a footballer who turns 30 in April and has six months to try to win his next contract. He will have to reduce, and a lot, the gross 13 million that he charges in Madrid.