How Marcelo Vieira Became One of the Best Attacking Defenders in the World

How Marcelo Vieira Became One of the Best Attacking Defenders in the World

Who is Marcelo Vieira?

A professional football – soccer player known for his offensive capabilities, Marcelo Vieira, is often regarded as one of the top left-backs of all time. Most of his career, this footballer has spent with the Spanish club Real Madrid, and is today playing for Fluminense, a Brazilian football club in which he started his magnificent career.

More about his life, his journey to success, and how he became one of the best-attacking defenders in the world, you’ll find in this article.

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Early life, family, and education

Born Marcelo Vieira da Silva Junior under the zodiac sign of Taurus on 12 May 1988, he’s a native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, thus Marcelo holds Brazilian nationality. He was raised alongside his sister Julia by their father, Marcelo Senior who was a fireman, and mother Maria, who was a teacher. In one of his interviews, Marcelo said that he grew up in poverty, and even considered quitting football, however, his grandfather was the one who recognized his extraordinary talent, and convinced Marcelo to continue with the sport.

When it comes to his educational background, Marcelo attended a local high school, and upon matriculating in 2006, he didn’t go to college but pursued his sports career.

Aged nine, Marcelo began playing futsal, similar to indoor football. By the time he turned 13 years, he was on the books of Fluminense, and played for the junior team until 2005 when he launched his professional career. As a young player, he showed impeccable control over the ball, agility, and footwork; he stayed with Fluminense until 2007.

Rose to prominence with Real Madrid

During the January 2007 transfer window, Marcelo joined Real Madrid, a top Spanish professional football club. When Marcelo arrived, the club president, Ramon Calderon, stated that Marcelo is a young player who will inject some freshness into the squad, adding that half of Europe wanted him in their team.

Marcelo debuted as a substitute on 7 January 2007 in the game against Deportivo La Coruna, waiting until April 2007 when then-coach Fabio Capello gave him his first start for the team. Marcelo really showed his skills in the 2007-2008 season, becoming a very important player for Real Madrid thanks to his ability in defense and attack, and especially speed.

However, Marcelo was again on the bench in 2009, after a string of poor performances. A new manager, Juande Ramos used Marcelo as a winger on multiple occasions, and he performed admirably in his new role. In Madrid’s 4-0 hammering of Sporting Gijon, he scored his first goal after receiving a back-heel from forward Gonzalo Higuain, and putting the ball beyond the keeper. Coach Ramos revealed after the game that Marcelo would be positioned as a winger, but return to defense when needed. Marcelo scored Real Madrid’s second goal against Almeria, with a thunderous drive from outside the penalty area with his weaker right foot, and in April 2009, Marcelo scored his third goal in the game against Huelva, and fourth against Sevilla.

Under subsequent head coach Manuel Pellegrini, Marcelo featured consistently in the starting XI due to his versatility and pace down the left flank in both attacking and defensive roles. He continued to operate as a left winger under Pellegrini and topped the assist charts in La Liga in the 2009–10 season. Marcelo’s successful performance earned him a contract extension with the club until 2015.

In the season 2010-2011, under new coach Jose Mourinho, Marcelo was back in his position of left back. He justified the coach’s expectations by showing his attacking flair as well as defensive skills. He was heavily praised by the media around the world, and the great Diego Maradona said that Marcelo is the third-best player in La Liga (after Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo). Roberto Carlos, a Brazilian former professional footballer, named him ‘the world’s best left back’. Marcelo has been often compared to Roberto, and himself described Marcelo as his heir.

In July 2015, Marcelo signed a new contract with the club which kept him with Real Madrid until 2020, however, in September 2017, he signed a new contract that would keep him there until summer 2022. In his final season with Real Madrid, Marcelo made 34 appearances, and the club won their third consecutive Club World Cup, as well as the league title.

In September 2022, Marcelo signed for Greek professional football club Olympiacos, however, he left the club after five months, and in February 2023, Marcelo returned to Fluminense, making his first appearance on the field in April against Sporting Cristal, with his team winning 3-1. Marcelo’s first game with the starting team was against Fluminense’s rival, Flamengo, during the two-legged final of the Campeonato Carioca. Marcelo and Fluminense lost the first game, but in the second game, Marcelo scored a long-range goal, leading his team to a 4-1 win, and his first trophy upon his return.

Love life and wife

Like many professional football players, Marcelo has been the subject of various rumors about his love life, however, it’s widely known that he’s a married man. Marcelo married his long-term girlfriend, Clarice Alves in 2008. The wedding ceremony was private and held in the presence of their closest family members and friends.

On 24 September 2009, the couple welcomed their first son, Enzo Gattuso Alves Vieria, while their second son, Liam, was born on 1 September 2015.

Marcelo occasionally posts photos featuring his wife and children on his Instagram. Speaking of which, it has been followed by over 63.5 million people.

As of May 2023, Marcelo and his family live in their residence in Rio de Janeiro.

Age, appearance, and net worth

Marcelo recently celebrated his 35th birthday. His trademark is his black, curly hair, and he has numerous tattoos on his body, including the number 12, his shirt number, and his birth day. He’s 5ft 9ins (1.74m) tall and weighs around 170lbs (78kgs).

Thanks to his skills but also his collaboration with popular brands such as Adidas, Marcelo has accumulated a hefty sum of money. According to sources, as of May 2023, his net worth has been estimated at over $16 million.

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