Real Madrid left back Marcelo has admitted that last season was a ‘failure’ for Los Blancos. However, instead of dwelling on the disappointment, the shortcomings have only served to motivate him and the other players to ensure that 2019/20 doesn’t end the same way.
Having dominated Europe in recent years, Real saw a remarkable run of three consecutive Champions League triumphs come to an end when they were knocked out of the competition by Ajax. They also finished a distant third in La Liga, 19 points behind Barcelona.
Marcelo has won 20 trophies since he first arrived in Madrid back in late 2006, but the lack of any silverware in 2018/19 after so much recent success has reignited his passion.
“Last season was a failure,” he bluntly stated for The Players’ Tribune.
“We know this. We won nothing. Zero. It was a terrible experience. But my head is held high, because it has given us hunger again. I feel a passion like when I was a young kid.”
Real have been in the process of rebuilding since lifting the Champions League trophy in 2018. Talisman superstar Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Zinedine Zidane both left that summer, with the latter agreeing to return in March to rescue last season’s disaster.
A number of younger players like Brazilian trio Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Eder Militao have arrived, while there is a new marquee forward like Eden Hazard. Luka Jovic has also been signed, while Castilla-trained Fede Valverde has been getting opportunities as well.
All the while, Real have also retained the services of experienced stars like Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric and others. But the rebuild is an ongoing process.
Having revealed that a media taunt about needing to pray to a poster of Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah in order to get through the 2018 Champions League final spurred him on that night, Marcelo insists that critics doubting Real will have the same effect.
“Real Madrid will be back,” he declared. “You can put that on a poster. Stick it on your wall. Pray to it every night. We will be back.”