Marcelo left out some huge names.

An amazing XI of players that Marcelo left out of his best team-mates XI

As one of the game’s greatest modern defenders, Marcelo has been fortunate to share the pitch with a plethora of football’s most outstanding talents.

Naturally, that means having to narrow it down and pick one singular XI of his best former teammates will make for some pretty glaring omissions.

Speaking to TNT Sports Brazil recently, Marcelo named the following XI: Keylor Navas; Rafinha, Thiago Silva, Sergio Ramos, Roberto Carlos; Casemiro, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric; Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldo, Neymar.

To champion those he unfortunately had to snub, we’ve put together an XI of the teammates who missed out – and it’s just as stacked.

GK: Alisson Becker

The obvious choice here is Iker Casillas, whom Marcelo shared the pitch with during the best years of his career at Real Madrid. But to try and avoid what could essentially be a Real XI, we’ve gone with fellow Brazilian Alisson.

Marcelo only actually shared the pitch 16 times with the current Liverpool stopper, but that’s enough to qualify and there’s no doubting Alisson’s legacy as one of the best in modern times.

RB: Dani Carvajal

Unavoidable, really.

Without disrespecting Rafinha, Marcelo’s choice of the Brazilian was a wildly unexpected one, given what he and Carvajal achieved together on each flank for Los Blancos, but he’ll have his reasons. For us, though, there was no way we were ever picking anyone other than the five-time Champions League winner.

Five times. Mental.

CB: Pepe

Perhaps the most underrated defender of the 21st Century, Pepe is quite literally defying science at this point.

After living out the peak years of his career at Real alongside Marcelo, Sergio Ramos and others as the resident hardman, he’s somehow transcended the conventions of the game and is now enjoying a second coming at Porto at the age of 41. Forty-one.

Marcelo shared the pitch over 200 times with the Portuguese brute, thus it’s a surprise to see him miss out. London, UK. 12th Mar, 2024. London, March 12th 2024: Pepe of Porto during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Arsenal and FC Porto at The Emirates Stadium, London, England.

READ: 9 elite footballers that aged like a fine wine: Pepe, Totti, Xabi Alonso…

CB: Raphael Varane

Completing our Madrid-based defensive duo is Varane, who again played his best stuff in the famous white jersey alongside Marcelo.

Varane was undoubtedly the best defender in the world at times in the Spanish capital and also racked up over 200 appearances alongside the legendary Brazilian.

Injuries have always hampered the World Cup winner, however, and it’s seriously hampered his current spell at Manchester United. A real shame.

LB: Alex Sandro

To avoid building a purely Real Madrid back four, we’ve opted for Sandro at left-back, with the Brazilian only sharing the pitch with Marcelo three times given the fact they were both fighting for the same position at international level.

It can often be forgotten just how crucial Sandro was to Juventus’ domestic dominance throughout the 2010s, quietly operating as one of the best and most consistent full-backs in world football while the likes of Marcelo and others got the plaudits.

READ NEXT: The all-time Champions League table: Real Madrid miles clear, Man Utd 4th…

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CM: Fernandinho

Another wildly underrated player, Fernandinho was only really given his flowers in his very last few years at Manchester City, but left the club in 2022 having established himself as one of the best in class.

At his peak, there were very few who could do the job he did at the base of midfield. One who could was Casemiro, who understandably got the nod over Fernandinho given that he and Marcelo were teammates for both club and country.

We’re pretty happy with Fernandinho as our pick, though, and we think most others would be.

CM: Xabi Alonso

Because being the coolest player in world football wasn’t enough, Alonso just had to retire and do it as a manager, too.

Again, given that Marcelo naturally picked the Casemiro-Kroos-Modric midfield three, big names were bound to miss out. Few are as big as this guy’s. Managers that have rejected the chance to become Liverpool manager (L-R): Didier Deschamps, Xabi Alonso, Jose Mourinho

READ: Seven brilliant (and terrible) managers that have rejected the Liverpool job

CM: Kaka

It feels a little wrong playing him in midfield, so consider him more as a number 10 here, but there’s no way we couldn’t shoehorn Kaka in.

While Marcelo didn’t quite see him at his outrageous best in Madrid, the pair played and trained together enough times for the left-back to see what he had in his locker.

A World Cup and Ballon d’Or winner, they don’t come like Kaka anymore.

RW: Ronaldinho

Somehow, Ronaldinho didn’t get a spot in Marcelo’s XI. That is blasphemous.

Speaking in 2017, Marcelo dropped a hint as to where he rates Ronaldinho in comparison to others who he did pick in his team: “I have played with Brazilian Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Van Nistelrooy but Cristiano is the best I have played with. He is the most complete player I’ve ever seen.”

Fair enough. Can’t really argue it too much.

ST: Karim Benzema

Again, we can’t really begrudge Marcelo for sticking R9 up top given his exploits for club and country, but it means Benzema becomes a very glaring omission.

The duo played together almost 400 times for the biggest club in world football and won an unfathomable amount of major honours in that time, essentially keeping the Champions League hostage for a while.

He called him the ‘best number nine in Europe’ back in 2017, but apparently that wasn’t enough to shoehorn him in. Poor form.

LW: Gareth Bale

Often sharing the left flank, it’s somewhat surprising that Bale was snubbed for Neymar, but we won’t complain – he’s straight into our XI.

Marcelo has been on record in the past to defend Bale in the wake of him being booed by Real fans, but also once suggested that the language barrier between him and his colleagues was challenging (even though Bale does speak Spanish).

In fairness, we’d love to eavesdrop on a conversation between a man from Rio de Janeiro and another from Cardiff, purely on intrigue alone, so he’s got a point. No idea where that would lead.