Real Madrid Encouraged him to train with Roberto Carlos
Fabio Capello’s spell in charge of Real Madrid in 2007 is remembered in a variety of ways, yet someone he worked closely with at the time, Predrag Mijatovic, has confirmed that the Italian coach wanted to give up on a young Marcelo.
Mijatovic was working as the club’s director of football at the time and was responsible for recruiting players and helping shape the squad with which Capello was to work.
“In my first year at Real Madrid, Roberto Carlos was the left-back, the best in football history in my opinion, but I knew that we had to sign a young player to replace him,” Mijatovic admitted in an interview with ISMAS.
“Knowing Roberto like I did, as a teammate, and knowing his contract was about to end it was clear his performances weren’t like they had been, and we needed to replace him.
“Marcelo was 18 years old and totally unknown, and Capello wanted to give up on him, but I refused because I wanted him to train with Roberto Carlos.”
When pressed on just why he pushed for such a development, the former Real Madrid star made clear that the Brazilian’s experience would only help improve Marcelo.
“A player, training with a world class star like Roberto Carlos, can see how he lives, take on any advice from him and that’s worth a lot more than 10-15 games on loan,” he confirmed.