Marcelo celebrated ten-years at Real Madrid this week, but does he rank amongst the all-time Brazilians best-of-the-best at Real Madrid?
5) Casemiro: 2013 – present day
Despite being known for his turbulence and unprofessionalism at São Paulo, Real Madrid took the risk of bringing in the midfielder for their youth team, believing that his talent could develop under the right coaching. Mourinho gave the footballer his Liga debut in April 2013, before Casemiro completed the following season as a squad rotation player with Ancelotti.
The Brazilian’s away performance against Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League quarterfinals of 2014 saved the club from a shock elimination – which eventually allowed them to claim La Decima. Casemiro might not be the flashiest of Brazilians, but based on his contribution he has certainly earned his place as one of the best five Brazilians in the club’s history.
4) Savio: 1998-2002
Having formed the deadliest trio in the Brazilian league with Edmundo and Romário at Carioca side Flamengo, the Brazil international caught the eye of Real Madrid.
Combining pace with a deadly skill-set and dribbling abilities, Savio was a joy to watch. The midfielder achieved enormous success by winning the Champions League three times – the only Brazilian in history to do so, alongside teammate Roberto Carlos. The Brazilian’s last game for the club was the Champions League final in 2002, before making a move to Bordeaux.
3) Ronaldo: 2002-2007
Despite having played for many European giants, Ronaldo considers his time at Real Madrid as the most enjoyable in his career, having arrived as a world champion following his devastating performance against Germany in 2002.
In the same year, the ‘first’ Ronaldo won the Ballon D’or and guided Real Madrid to the league title by scoring a decisive goal in the final game against Athletic Bilbao. Ronaldo’s first season ended with 30 goals, including a spectacular performance against Manchester United in the Champions League.
Ronaldo’s second season was no less impressive with the forward managing 31 strikes to win the Pichichi, before an injury curse hit the Brazilian again – signaling his decline. In January 2007, Ronaldo left the Bernabeu to go to Milan, following a locker room fall-out with his manager, Fabio Capello, but was still awarded a medal as Madrid clinched the league title.
2) Marcelo: 2007 – present day
Marcelo left Fluminense as an 18-year-old youngster with the ambition of playing alongside his idol, Roberto Carlos, at the club which he considers to be the greatest in the world. Marcelo’s journey was challenging, but the fullback was quick to overcome the difficulties and cement himself as a key figure at Real Madrid and arguably the best left-back in the world.
The 28-year-old’s achievements are impressive, including two Champions League titles, three La Liga crowns and two Club World Cups. One of Marcelo’s most memorable moments was no doubt scoring the third goal which killed Atletico Madrid’s hopes in the 2014 Champions League final in Lisbon, helping Real Madrid claim their first major continental title since 2002.
1) Roberto Carlos: 1996-2007
From one of the best full-backs in the world, to a Real Madrid club ambassador. Roberto Carlos is a Madridista by heart, worshipped by ‘Los Blancos’ fans. The defender’s spell in the Spanish capital was full of success, where he won four La Liga titles and three Champions League crowns – making the assist to Zidane’s famous volley against Leverkusen in the 2002 final.
Roberto Carlos was made famous for his devastating runs down the flanks, electrifying dribbling skills and incredible goals which have become football folk law. With 370 appearances, the Brazilian is Real Madrid’s most capped foreigner in La Liga history. In 2007, Carlos left to Fenerbahçe right after claiming his last league title. What more does he need to be considered a club legend and its best ever Brazilian?