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Real Madrid's Marcelo: A paragon of an attacking full back

Monday 12th June 2017
In the modern game, I don't know why but the managers are somewhat obsessed with the full backs. They are regarded as the key players. Their importance in the squad is so much that if they go missing, the team might struggle in both the aspects – attack and defence.

Yes, there are plenty of full backs present at the moment who play the key role at the back and in the front. Philipp Lahm (who retired at the end of the season) and David Alaba - both of Bayern Munich. Dani Alves and Alex Sandro of Juventus, Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpelicueta of Chelsea and finally, Danny Rose and Kyle Walker of Spurs. These are few ideal players in the modern day wing-back position.

But, when you talk about Marcelo, he has taken things to the next level. The Brazilian has mastered this position. He excels all the others at present and here is why.
The beauty of his game is he's always involved in the play. He links up with all of his teammates around him, and in a very splendid way. He makes the left side of the pitch his own parish with his invigorating style of football and that is what makes him so good. He's always dashing up and down the field exchanging passes, doing quick one-twos and receiving the long balls launched from the deeper areas and putting them into the box. And he does it so smoothly, almost untroubled.

His aptness and versatility are remarkable. He can transform his positions instantaneously. From his base left-back position to all the way forward to the left-wing. He can be seen drifting over these positions every time he sets foot on the pitch.

Over all these years, there have been critics who said that he isn't a sound defender. But, sometimes, perhaps the primary job of a modern day full-back isn't to defend. We all know that Real Madrid is an attacking team with arguably the best forward line in the world. They have scored in every single game of their campaign last season, and that is enough to showcase their attacking superiority. And it gets even better with the supply they get from the behind by their world class midfield. Well, the age old saying might still hold true here that ‘attack is the best form of defence'. Maybe Marcelo doesn't need to do much defensively because his role is to aid the attack, which he does brilliantly. Dani Alves, Marcelo's national teammate clearly thinks the same way.

“You can prepare [only] to defend but then the guy dribbles past you anyway ... what, you think you're the only one that's quick? If you ‘defend', you don't attack; if you ‘attack', you don't defend? What's football for? To win. And to win you have to score more. The winner isn't [just] the team that defends incredibly; if you defend well but don't score, it's worthless.” Alves said.

Marcelo's importance to Real Madrid cannot be understated. He may not be a defensive giant but without his speed and skills, Real Madrid's attack is incomplete. It is not just that he is a full-back who gallops forward to support attacks. There is much more. He gets involved, takes responsibility, make runs in the right areas, create chances and sometimes takes chances himself. He is a kind of player, who just likes to play more, who is very comfortable with the ball at his feet.

Talking about Marcelo's last season; Zidane utilised him to full extent. He was probably the best player for Los Blancos. If not the outright best then I'd say he was the most crucial and the most consistent player for them. Joining Real as a nineteen-year-old, now after a decade, he's evolved into a full back that's every manager's desire.
Zaid Pathan

A huge fan of Peter Drury's bombastic post-goal narration and an ardent football follower since his teens, Zaid believes the beautiful game is the best mode of escape from the daily hustle and bustle. He particularly loves to watch the Premier League and wants English clubs to dominate Europe again.

Life may or may not be beautiful, but football surely is.

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