Marcelo pointed the finger at Real Madrid’s pre-season preparations as why the team is off the pace part-way through the campaign.
The left-back marked his 350th appearance for Los Blancos with an interview with Brazilian publication Globoesporte, and discussed the situation at the club with a few months of the season to go.
“It’s difficult. I think we didn’t have a good pre-season, so we’ve ended up paying for it half-way through the season,” he said, AS reports.
“But we’re there, we’ll fight to the end. We’ve got games in the League to prepare for the Champions League and we’ll see…
“I can’t say exactly what happened [in pre-season]. But when I think about it, the pre-season wasn’t one of the best.
“Zinedine Zidane seems to be doing very well to me. It’s difficult to take Madrid half-way through a season and with a lot of criticism, fighting for third.
“It’s difficult, yes, but I think he’s doing a good job and there’s still the end of the season to see what we’ll do, but I’m absolutely sure he’ll be one of the best Coaches in the world.”
Marcelo concluded by touching on some compatriots, Neymar and Casemiro, the Cristiano Ronaldo-Lionel Messi rivalry and his own future.
“Do I joke with Neymar coming to Madrid? We don’t talk much about football,” he revealed.
“It would be difficult for Neymar, making history with Barcelona, to come to Madrid.
“I’m not surprised by Casemiro’s development. Everyone here knew he would be able to play for Real Madrid.
“Cristiano is the best in the world because I see how he works and then performs on the pitch and his ambition…for me he is the best.
“I intend to stay for many years at Madrid, to renew my contract, which ends in 2020, stay for as many years as possible.
“End my career in Brazil? I haven’t thought about where I might end my career. I’m at a very good point in my life and I don’t think about the end.”