Real Madrid closed the book on their La Liga-winning 2021-22 campaign this season with a 0-0 draw against high-flying Real Betis in the Spanish capital tonight, and while they lifted yet another Spanish title in the run-up to their date with Liverpool the final of the Champions League, the club and its supporters had one last chance to say goodbye to veteran star Marcelo.
A generational talent at left-back and one of the most successful players to ever put on the famous all-white kit in Madrid, Marcelo will be parting ways with the Spanish giants in the summer after his contract expires, putting an end to a storied love affair that dates back to 2006-07.
While much of the talk around Madrid of late has been the potential future of Kylian Mbappé and a possible arrival in La Liga, days gone by were the order of the day this evening when Marcelo came off the bench in the 70th-minute to replace Ferland Mendy for one final appearance in front of passionate home support.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, the 34-year-old has lifted twenty pieces of major silverware (not including four Club World Cups) for Madrid during his days with the club, while featuring an impressive 545-times for Madrid and scoring 38-goals along the way.
The heir apparent to Roberto Carlos for both club and country, few would argue just how impactful Marcelo has been while managing to stand the test of time and remain a key performer for Real before father time began to take its toll in recent seasons.
As the club's most decorated player in an incomparable history across the beautiful game, Marcelo has left his mark on a people, a city, multiple countries, and football as a whole on a level that few could ever have imagined. Thank you, Marcelo.