Real Madrid’s longest serving player following the exit of Marcelo

Photo: Getty images

Following Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos’ departure last summer, Marcelo became the longest-serving player not just in Real Madrid but in the Spanish top flight.

The legendary Brazilian left-back has now left the club after 15 amazing years with Real Madrid in which he won 25 trophies, making him the most decorated Real Madrid player in history.

Marcelo, alongside legendary left-back Roberto Carlos, are the only two non-EU players to make over 500 appearances for Real Madrid.

The 34-year-old defender, who moved to Santiago Bernabeu from Fluminense in January 2007, leaves the club with 546 appearances to his name.

Marcelo’s trophy record at Real Madrid includes 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.

Following Marcelo’s exit, Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema is now the club’s longest serving player.

Benzema arrived at Real Madrid from French club Lyon in the summer of 2009.

The 34-year-old centre-forward played second fiddle to Real Madrid legend Cristiano Ronaldo for almost a decade but has become an influential player for the club following Ronaldo’s exit in 2018.

Karim Benzema enjoyed a sensational 2021-22 season and is now the overwhelming favourite to win the Ballon d’Or.

Benzema registered 44 goals and 15 assists in 46 appearances in all competitions for Madrid in 2021-22 and averaged a direct goal contribution every 66.42 minutes.

Speaking of his future plans after leaving Real Madrid, Marcelo said: “I’m going to continue playing, I think I can continue. And if I play against 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.”

Marcelo’s 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 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.”