Cristiano Ronaldo has paid tribute to his old teammate, Marcelo, after the Real Madrid defender bid an emotional final farewell to Los Blancos on Monday afternoon
Ronaldo and Marcelo forged a strong bond during the 37-year-old’s trophy-laden stint at Los Blancos and have remained close ever since. Marcelo has racked up over 540 appearances for Real and won a staggering 25 trophies – more than any other player in the club’s illustrious history.
But after playing a bit-part role under Carlo Ancelotti this year, the 34-year-old is set to move on in search of a new challenge this summer; bringing his remarkable 16-year spell in Madrid to an end.
And Ronaldo has now paid a glowing tribute to his old friend on social media. The Manchester United striker posted: “More than a teammate, a brother that football gave me. On and off the fields, one of the biggest stars with whom I had the pleasure of sharing a locker room. Go with everything on this new adventure, Marcelo!”
Marcelo is expected to return to his native Brazil when his contract in the Spanish capital officially expires at the end of the month. The full-back came through the ranks at Fluminense and made 30 appearances for the Brazilian outfit before he was lured to the Bernabeu.
Speaking after his exit was confirmed, Marcelo said: “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.”
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During an emotional press conference on Monday, the Madrid icon bid a tearful goodbye to the club – and was hailed as one of Madrid’s greatest ever players by Los Blancos president Florentino Perez.
Perez said: “Today we say thank you to our great captain, one of our biggest legends. The player with the most titles in the history of Real Madrid. Marcelo.
“Dear Marcelo, you are one of the greatest left-back of the history of Real Madrid and of football. Dear Marcelo, you have fulfilled all the dreams you had when you arrived at only 18 years old.”
He added: “Twenty five titles, 564 games and 38 goals. You are one of the greatest. Real Madrid will always be your home. Thank you for everything you’ve done. Dear Marcelo, our fans will always keep you inside their hearts. We are proud.”