Real Madrid sealed their 14th Champions League with a 1-0 victory over Liverpool on Saturday night under the lights. It was arguably the least thrilling of their four knockout ties, but the it allowed them to crown one of the most epic runs in European football history.
The comebacks and dramatic moments of the previous rounds made this run all the more emotional for the players and the fans, adding plenty to the folklore of Real Madrid.
Yet those moments, this victory and that run are more special for one player than any other – Marcelo.
“It’s a beautiful night. When you are the first captain you dream of lifting the cup and I have become the only Brazilian that has lifted a Champions League as captain of Real Madrid.”
Not only does he become the first Brazilian to raise the European Cup in white, he also joins a rare group of players that can sign off at the peak of club football. Marcelo confirmed in the mix zone that he would be leaving Real Madrid to Mundo Deportivo.
“The emotion is brutal, it’s been my last game with Real Madrid but I am very happy. It’s not a day of sadness, I go with a lot of joy, grateful to the fans and for the magical nights that I have experienced in the Bernabeu.”
He was also reluctant to put himself on a pantheon or succumb to the self-aggrandising narrative.
“I don’t feel like a legend, I am a person that enjoys every moment. I had the luck of being captain and lifting the cup before my goodbye. Already the last match was a mini-goodbye but now I can’t say goodbye better than with my fifth Champions League. It has closed a beautiful cycle.”
Marcelo signed for Real Madrid as a teenager in 2007 for €6.5m. 15 years, 556 appearances, 41 goals and 103 assists later, he leaves the white house with five Champions Leagues. If he isn’t a legend, he isn’t too far off.