The quality, quantity, and depth of first person narratives from the world of football, especially since the advent of the player-penned Players’ Tribune, engineers a risk of overlooking the incredible stories of footballers’ experience reaching the heights of their careers.
[ MORE: Berhalter calls up 20 ]
But Marcelo’s story on Thursday cannot be overlooked. Detailing his individual Champions League Final experiences and recounting his move from Brazil to Spain, the veteran fullback writes with so much candor (and plenty of profanity) that’s difficult not to feel his spirit soar over the Bernabeu.
The 31-year-old arrived at Real Madrid from Fluminese in 2006, and has gone on to amass six FIFA Best XI appearances and four UCL titles with the club. He’s also described a pre-final panic attack and admitted that Cristiano Ronaldo was also nervous ahead of a final (We’re sure CR7 is extremely please to know of that revelation).
Perhaps the best part aside from warm memories of his grandfather, was this very human moment from the Real’s 3-1 defeat of Liverpool in the 2018 final. From The Players’ Tribune:
“With about 10 minutes left, we were winning 3–1, and it really hit me that we were going to be champions.
“The ball went out of play for a throw-in, and I had a moment to think, and.…
“Brother, this is true: I started crying. I was sobbing, right on the pitch. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before.”
We just love this deep looks, or at least quality glimpses, into the minds of athletes and Marcelo seems like a riot (even if he had no business being in the FIFA Best XI this year, but we digress).