Real Madrid: Marcelo on Mourinho, Isco, Club World Cup
Real Madrid left-back Marcelo spoke to the media ahead of the LaLiga giants' Club World Cup semi-final with Kashima Antlers on Wednesday.
Marcelo was the Real Madrid player chosen to speak to the media on the eve of the Champions League holders' Club World Cup semi-final against Kashima Antlers.
As he looked ahead to Wednesday's clash in Abu Dhabi, the Brazilian also responded to questions on José Mourinho's departure from Manchester United - and speculation that the Portuguese could return for a second stint at Madrid, where he had a three-year spell as coach between 2010 and 2013.
Marcelo's pre-Club World Cup semi-final press conference:
What is the key to the trophy success this Real Madrid has enjoyed?
"The togetherness that we have in the dressing room; the core of the team has been playing together for a while, and that has helped us to get as far as we have. We're really hungry to win trophies, we're in a short tournament, and if we make it through tomorrow we'll have the chance to win another piece of silverware. That's what we're out to do. Pulling on the Real Madrid shirt is a permanent source of motivation."
Are you surprised by Mourinho's sacking as Manchester United manager? Do you think he could return to Real Madrid in the future?
"I'm here to talk about this competition, the Club World Cup. I know you're asking me about this because he was Real Madrid coach before. It's a shame, because he's a top coach who is without a club. He's done a lot for Madrid. As for whether or not he could return, that's something that's not down to me."
Former Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane is being linked with the vacant position at United. What would your reaction be if he replaced Mourinho at Old Trafford?
Zidane has done fantastic work in a short period of time [as a coach], and he'd be a good appointment for any team in the world.
What is the state of the relationship between Santiago Solari and Isco? Do you think the midfielder's situation can be turned around?
We all know what kind of quality Isco has. For me, there's nobody with more skill or quality on the ball. But you [the media] are making a lot of something that isn't worth such attention. There are times when a player plays more, and times when he plays less. You're putting too much emphasis on something that's normal. Players go through a lot of different phases in their careers; that's all. Like everyone else in the squad, he's totally committed to Madrid.
What do you expect from Madrid's Champions League last-16 tie with Ajax?
It'll be difficult. The teams who make it through to the last 16 are the best in the competition. It'll be a really tough tie. It's a way off yet, though.