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Real Madrid returned after the Christmas break, Marcelo returned to the starting eleven after more than a month of absences … and the white team returned to DJ. A perhaps unfair association of ideas, several gears of the white machinery failed in the Martínez Valero (1-1), but that adds another notch in the Madrid statistics with the Brazilian in the starting eleven, much more prone to unwanted puncture than to placid office day. Madrid left two points in Elche and Marcelo, who played the 90 minutes, is still marked and without taking advantage of the opportunities to show Zidane that there is something left in him of the exuberant player who led Madrid from the left lane in the three Champions League in a row.

The comparison with Mendy is odious, qualitatively and quantitatively. The Frenchman is pure power at the service of the struggle and the court, his virtues abound in defense and he is more discreet in attack (although he allows himself luxuries from time to time). The Brazilian is the opposite, a dribbler in the lane who in his best days gave away behind, but broke the rival above, adding in the exit of the ball, in the medullary construction and in the completion, sometimes all in the same play. Marcelo does not live those golden days, today he continues to falter behind and does not make up for it in the opposite field.

In Elche he lost up to 16 balls, the third most for Madrid behind Carvajal (18) and Casemiro (17); he would be on average, if it weren't for the fact that the right back recovered 12 possessions and the midfielder ten. Marcelo stayed in just two, the defender who least of Madrid, surpassed by the aforementioned Carvajal, Varane (8) and Ramos (5). As the match progressed in the second half, Elche looked for the white tickles on the back of the '12' and was about to take advantage, especially in a Rigoni boarding session that ended in a shot at Boyé's post.

Madrid, more fragile with Marcelo

It was Marcelo's 21st start in the league with Madrid since he shared a dressing room and position with Mendy, signed in the summer of 2019 in exchange for 48 million to cuddle the Brazilian and see if there were drops to squeeze out of him yet. The numbers speak volumes: 12 wins, three draws and six defeats for Madrid in those games, while with Mendy at the start, Zidane's men do not know how to lose in the league (22 wins and seven draws). With the French, the punctures suppose 24% of the meetings, and always adding a point, sad consolation; with Marcelo, they almost doubled to 43%, with defeats being the dominant trend.

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Marcelo, during Elche-Real Madrid.

Marcelo has been working with the physical trainer Adolfo Madrid, famous for having shaped Marcos Llorente, now triumphing at Atlético after his step more sour than sweet for the white team. He took advantage of the Christmas holidays to work in Sierra Nevada and his first opportunity came in Elche, to convince Zidane that alienating him was not a risk (that he can improve Mendy's benefits, to this day, is science fiction). But after some interesting details (he crashed a ball on the crossbar), he again generated fragility in the white defense and Madrid paid him again. One more for a Marcelo who, despite the fact that his contract ends in 2022, seems to savor his last months as a Real Madrid player after almost 15 years in the White House.

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