One of the biggest side-stories of Real Madrid’s season has been Marcelo’s battle with injuries and then subsequently form, however, his performances of late have shown the left-back is back to his best.
After 12 seasons with the club it’s no surprise that the former Fluminense defender is one of the key figures at Valdebebas.As such his struggles this term have been a real cause for concern.
It’s been uncomfortable and the Brazilian has appeared visibly frustrated on the pitch at times, but he showed just how effective he can be in the wins against Depor and Valencia.As Zinedine Zidane’s charges found form once more, this coincided with Marcelo excelling, and though the attacking trio of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale will take the headlines, without the defender’s work they wouldn’t have been supported to the requisite level.
At the peak of their success in the 2016/17 season Los Blancos were an incredibly efficient attacking football team, but they were not focused on defending first.
This is what made Marcelo such a strong fit and how, without him at full flow, the team’s results slipped dramatically.
He was crucial in the 7-1 victory over the Galician side, contributing two assists, and followed suit at the Estadio Mestalla with a key pass which led to Ronaldo winning a penalty.Late on he even managed to score a goal himself in which he fully utilised his speed and dribbling ability.
This upturn in form comes at a crucial stage of the campaign, because it’s widely accepted that winning LaLiga is impossible for the defending champions.A Champions League success could well save their season though.
Paris Saint-Germain stand in their way of a quarterfinal place and Marcelo could be crucial in Los Blancos playing to their full attacking potential.
The Brazilian is still some way away from his tally of 14 assists last season, although he is showing signs of once again becoming the player he has been previously.
His presence gives the team something extra, particularly from an area of the pitch that you wouldn’t necessarily feel needed to be monitored closely from a defensive perspective.
This will be a real test for PSG and one which could make the difference over the course of the two legs, especially as the French club often look to play on the front foot.