​Zinedine Zidane has insisted Marcelo is a player he has 'love' for, with the Brazilian likely to start the season for Real Madrid when they take on Celta Vigo on Saturday.

The Brazilian came under a fair amount of criticism from Real Madrid fans during the club's torrid campaign last season, which culminated in the sacking of both Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari, prior to Zidane being reinstated at the helm.

During that time, Marcelo struggled to play regularly, failing to make four consecutive starts for the club after the fourth match of the season until the Frenchman returned to the helm. With new signing Ferland Mendy injured and yet to adapt to ​La Liga, Marcelo has featured prominently throughout pre-season, with Zidane stressing the importance of his role in the side.

"He's played very little lately, but he's done phenomenal things for this club," the 47-year-old explained, via ​Marca"We always need Marcelo to play well, and we'll look to him more. I love him as a player."

Due to ​Madrid's horrific form last season, Marcelo had been linked with moves abroad. However, with those rumours seemingly fizzing out, the Brazilian is now looking forward to the new campaign with Zidane, and expressed his joy at seeing him return to the dugout.

"I was very happy with his return," he admitted. "I've already said a million times that I'd do anything for him. He knows what happens in everyone's head. If a player is wrong, he knows how to talk to them and that makes it easier for everyone."


With 486 Real Madrid appearances under his belt, the 31-year-old is closing in on the record set by his fellow countryman Roberto Carlos, who featured for Los Blancos 41 times more with an overall record of 521 outings.

A trip to the north west coast of Spain awaits Madrid on Saturday, as they take on Celta Vigo in the La Liga curtain raiser.