Zidane told reporters Marcelo deserves more respect from Real supporters: "It's upsetting because he gives his all when he plays—not just Marcelo, all the players do—but this isn't going to change. I can say it's upsetting, it's not good because they go out there and play to their maximum."
Although he knows players at a club the stature of Real has to expect an intense backlash in the wake of defeats, Zidane believes 31-year-old Marcelo still has value:
"I think Marcelo gave his all the other day. The knives come out when you lose. When we lose, everything gets analysed. The important thing is my players give 100 per cent and he did, I think. He's been an important player for many years and I'm sure he's going to continue to be important until the end of the season."
Zidane's confidence aside, Marcelo was caught out of position more than once by Sociedad. An attack led by Real Madrid loanee Martin Odegaard, striker Alexander Isak and winger Portu frequently found joy on the left side of Real's defence.
Marcelo's struggles left many, including Goal's Rik Sharma, to conclude Marcelo is finished at this level. Ironically, the four-time UEFA Champions League winner did get Los Merengues back into the game when his low shot squirmed in just before the hour mark at the Santiago Bernabeu to reduce the deficit to 3-1.
Marcelo's finish also offered a reminder of what he brings to the team. He's scored once and provided four assists in all competitions despite making a mere 12 starts, including seven in La Liga, with Zidane usually preferring summer signing Ferland Mendy at left-back.
Former Lyon star Mendy has added greater athleticism, aggression and recovery pace at the back. His performances have been key to a Real defence solid enough to have conceded just 13 goals in 22 games in the league.
The defensive side of Marcelo's game has never been strong, but few players can match his decorated track record of winning at the highest level. With Real top of La Liga and still in the UEFA Champions League, Zidane is wise to remind fans of the key role Marcelo can play during the remainder of the season.