Marcelo is the best attacking left-back in world football

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A left-back scoring from open play is usually cause for surprise and adulation, yet when Marcelo sealed the points with Real Madrid's third against Celta Vigo on Saturday, there were no eyebrows raised. Why? Well, considering he's a left back, Marcelo scores quite a lot.

He has nearly 25 goals for Los Blancos - nearly as many as the famous Robert Carlos scored - from open play for Real. Despite their similar records, Roberto Carlos is regarded as one of the greatest left-backs of all time, whereas Marcelo is often maligned for his defensive vulnerabilities. In reality, there isn't much between them.

How Marcelo compares to other left-backs

There are few, if any, left backs out there who can match Marcelo's attacking capabilities. Even someone as energetic as Jordi Alba at Barcelona doesn't possess the same skill or ability on the ball as the Brazilian.


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Marcelo's only real competitor when it comes to attacking is David Alaba. The Austrian has grown into a key player for Bayern - his prowess going forward demonstrated by Guardiola's desire to play him in midfield.

Alaba is arguably a better all round defender, but when it comes to scoring and assisting goals, he is some way behind Marcelo. The Real Madrid man doesn't just score meaningless goals either: he bagged the equaliser at home to Manchester City in their famous 3-2 win, and scored Madrid's only goal in their 2011 Champions League tie with Barcelona.

Lacking defensively

With so much promise going forward, you'd expect Marcelo to be lauded as the world's best left-back - this isn't the case. He is often criticised for being out of position or being beaten too easily by a skilful right winger. A compilation of clips where Marcelo comes up against Lionel Messi wouldn't make good watching for the Brazilian.

Despite his critics, Marcelo has improved defensively over the past few seasons. He no longer seems to be targeted by Barcelona in the Classico's - if he can defend against Neymar, Luis Suarez and Messi, he can defend against anyone.

With the appointment of Rafa Benitez as coach, Marcelo's defending will only continue to improve. As much as the Real fans disapprove of Benitez's naturally cautious style, Marcelo is one man who is certainly benefiting from it.

Who is the greatest left-back of all time? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!

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