Zinedine Zidane Discusses 'Upsetting' Criticism of Real Madrid's Marcelo

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2020

Real Madrid's French coach Zinedine Zidane (R) talks to Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Marcelo during the UEFA Champions League group A football match against Paris Saint-Germain FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on November 26, 2019. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO / AFP) (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)
JAVIER SORIANO/Getty Images

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has revealed his unhappiness at the blame attacked to Marcelo for Real Madrid's 4-3 defeat to Real Sociedad in the Copa del Rey on Thursday.

Zidane told reporters Marcelo deserves more respect from Real supporters: "It's upsetting because he gives his all when he playsnot just Marcelo, all the players dobut 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 appeared lost vs. Sociedad.
Marcelo appeared lost vs. Sociedad.DeFodi Images/Getty Images

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.

Mendy arrived from Ligue 1 and reduced Marcelo to a squad role.
Mendy arrived from Ligue 1 and reduced Marcelo to a squad role.TF-Images/Getty Images

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.

Related

    Kroos' Future Still Lies in Madrid

    One year on from a long-term extension, the plan has not changed for Toni Kroos to stay with Real Madrid

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Kroos' Future Still Lies in Madrid

    AS.com
    via AS.com

    Real Madrid Should Target 'Humble' Players — Uli Stielike

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Real Madrid Should Target 'Humble' Players — Uli Stielike

    Goal
    via Goal

    Barcelona Confident It Will Be 4th Time Lucky with Pjanic

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Barcelona Confident It Will Be 4th Time Lucky with Pjanic

    MARCA in English
    via MARCA in English

    Xavi Is the 'Future of Barcelona'

    Camp Nou icon destined to become boss, says Pizzi

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Xavi Is the 'Future of Barcelona'

    Goal
    via Goal