Marcelo: Ahhhh, Casemiro. He saved my life…

Real Madrid full-back Marcelo has admitted he still can’t believe how successful his career has been for club and country.

The 29-year-old has amassed 413 appearances for Los Blancos, winning four La Liga crowns and three Champions League titles, whilst winning 48 caps for Brazil.

“Sometimes I wake up and I think, ‘Eleven seasons for Real Madrid. Eleven years playing for Brazil. For a crazy attacking fullback like me…how am I still here?” wrote Marcelo in the The Players’ Tribune.

“If I told you this was normal, I would be lying.

“Every day when I show up at training and park my car and walk into that Real Madrid locker room, it’s a giant emotion. Even if I don’t show it, inside I feel it so deeply. I am still in awe by it every day.

“For me to be a part of this club’s legacy is priceless.

“Roberto Carlos? I took inspiration from him on the pitch, too. He would go up and down that left wing like a beast.

“Whether you love me or you hate me, you know what you’re getting when I’m out there. I love to attack. No, not just attack. A-TTACK, you know?

“And then later on, in the back? If we got a problem, we’ll fix it. We’ll figure it out. But first, we attack.

“You can only play with this kind of freedom if you have a good understanding with your partners. Fabio Cannavaro would play on my side, and he’d say to me, ‘You can go, Marcelo. I’m here. Kick off your shoes. Relax. I’m Cannavaro. I got this.

“It’s like Casemiro does with me nowadays. ‘Go ahead, Marcelo. We’ll worry about the other stuff later.’

“Ahhhh, Casemiro. He saved my life. I might play until I’m 45 with this guy by my side.

“When I first got to Madrid, Cannavaro helped me loosen up a lot. The rule was that I could attack as long as I sprinted back.

“But if I was late? Man, then it got real. The man could yell. In Brazil, we have an expression. ‘Pegava no pé’. It’s like, you’re hard on them for a reason.

“Cannavaro was hard on me for a reason, and I love him for that.”