Between the goal scoring prowess of Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid’s habit of scoring decisive goals in the closing stages of games two players this season have emerged as indispensable in the club’s hunt for a first Liga title since 2011-12 and a potential domestic and European double: Marcelo and Dani Carvajal, who were instrumental in the 2-1 victory over Valencia, have participated directly in 27 goals in all competitions this season.
The Brazilian left back, enjoying one of his finest seasons at the Bernabéu, has scored three times and assisted 12 goals, while the Spain international has scored once and laid on 11 strikes for his teammates. Against Valencia, Carvajal read Ronaldo’s defence-splitting run and put the ball on the Portuguese’s head to open the scoring while Marcelo burst into the area and hit a low drive to ensure victory with five minutes remaining.
Marcelo overtakes Roberto Carlos
Marcelo’s willingness to join the attack, always offering an avenue to goal, pulling off some glorious tricks and putting in crosses or having a shot himself, has made him the most decisive defender in the attacking third in the Liga this season with two goals and nine assists. The Brazilian’s strike against Valencia not only earned his side three precious points but also made Marcelo the foreign player with most Liga victories in the history of Real Madrid, with 212, overtaking his idol Roberto Carlos’ mark of 211 in 80 fewer games.