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Real Madrid: who is Marvel, the defender rated highly by Zidane?

The Moroccan central defender, who plays for Real Madrid's Under-18s, has now been added to first-team training twice by head coach Zinedine Zidane.

Real Madrid: who is Marvel, the defender rated highly by Zidane?

Real Madrid Under-18s centre-back Marvel, full name Marvelous Antolín Garzón, is viewed within the club as a player with a big future - not least because he’s left-footed.

Zidane calls Marvel up to first-team Real Madrid training

Finding a left-footer for the centre of defence has become something of an obsession for Madrid (Éder Militao, Dayot Upamecano…). Marvel not only boasts this quality, but also impressive physical prowess.

Moroccan-born defender started out at Rayo Vallecano

Called up to train with head coach Zinedine Zidane’s first team twice now, Marvel, 18, was born in Morocco in 2003 and arrived in Spain after being adopted by a family in the country.

He began his footballing career in the youth set-up of Real Madrid’s fellow Spanish-capital club Rayo Vallecano, before joining the Atlético Madrid academy in 2011/12. Madrid then snapped the defender up in 2016.

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Seen at Real Madrid as one of club's top defensive talents

He has since set about rising through the ranks of ‘La Fábrica’ and earning a reputation as one of the most promising defensive prospects at the LaLiga giants.

Those who know him well speak highly of the personality of an ambitious youngster whose life story has been characterised by his ability to overcome adversity to succeed.

"A real team player who gives his all out on the pitch"

According to Real Madrid’s youth coaches, Marvel is "a strong central defender who is quick into the tackle and forceful when contesting the ball. Good in the air, he's a real team player who gives his all out on the pitch.

"A good striker of the ball, he uses this quality to play long passes that bring plenty to the team in attack."