Real Madrid legend Marcelo has put the Clasico rivalry aside as he admits Lionel Messi is ‘incredible’ and the ‘toughest opponent’ he has ever faced.
The veteran Brazilian left-back ended 15 years at the Santiago Bernabéu in 2022 when he bade farewell to Madrid as a free agent. He has spent much of his time in the Spanish capital in direct competition with Barca icon Messi, their paths regularly crossing in the fiercest derbies. Marcelo admits facing the seven-time Ballon d’Or presented him with the biggest challenge, with the Argentine proving nearly impossible to contain at times.
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Marcelo told The Athletic : “ Messi is incredible, the most difficult opponent I have ever faced. We all know its quality, even today, at 35, and before it was the same. The Clasico has always been one of the best games to watch and play. I had the chance to participate in one of the most beautiful eras of Clasicos. But it wasn’t just Messi, there were also other players who were amazing. »
Marcelo respects Messi
If Marcelo was a rival to Messi, he was Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s teammate for nine memorable years. The pair have forged close ties during their time at Madrid, and their escapades on the training ground have often made the rounds on social media. Marcelo said of his collaboration with another great player: “There were a lot of videos of Cris and me making jokes in training, celebrating (“Siuuuh!”) and so on, but Sergio (Ramos), Casemiro, Luka (Modric), Karim (Benzema) … I have many friends in the world of football. Of course, we always talked about Cristiano and the celebration and that’s super normal, but I also have other friends with whom I do things outside of football. »