La Liga expert Guillem Balague marvels at versatile player Marcelo ahead of the highly-anticipated El Clasico between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid on Saturday, December 3 at Camp Nou.
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Renowned Spanish football guru Balague has dubbed Marcelo a "box full of surprises" ahead of the weekend tussle with Barcelona.
Real head in to the super Saturday showdown on terrific form, a stark contrast to Barcelona, who have registered three draws and one loss in November alone.
Many observers will be looking toward the marquee players like Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo as the potential game-changers and/or match-winners, but Balague believes it is Brazilian full back Marcelo who is "the most influential offensive player at Real Madrid."
As quoted by Sky Sports, Balague said: "Obviously Cristiano Ronaldo scores the goals [and] Gareth Bale has also been crucial in important moments this season, but I've got a feeling that it's Marcelo who creates havoc in an organised defence and opens them up."
In La Liga duty alone, Marcelo has attempted, on average, 53 passes per game with an 82% accuracy. Additionally, he has completed 13 dribbles, 13 key passes, two assists and has scored one goal.
"Among the Real team, Marcelo has had the fourth highest dribble rate in La Liga this season at 1.3 per game, only slightly bettered by Bale (1.4). He has also made the fourth highest number of key passes of regular players - doing so 1.3 times per game - bettered only by Bale, Dani Carvajal and Toni Kroos.
"He sometimes acts not so much as a winger but sometimes appears as a number nine, I've seen him there and at number ten, number seven and number three.
"Putting aside David Alaba's transformation under Pep Guardiola, Marcelo is the ultimate modern full-back," Balague said, in conclusion. "A box full of surprises."
Real take on Barca at the Camp Nou on Saturday in a match scheduled to kick-off at 15:15 GMT.