Marcelo v Messi: Real Madrid star's celebration of goal-saving tackle is still epic

Real Madrid left-back Marcelo has had plenty of reasons to celebrate across his 16 years at the club. However, rarely has he seemed happier on the pitch than when he thwarted Lionel Messi with a perfectly-timed challenge during El Clasico.

The Brazilian, who turned 34 on Thursday, has amassed an impressive list of honours in the Spanish capital – including six La Liga titles and four Champions League triumphs.

After he bids for a fifth Champions League crown with Los Blancos against Liverpool at the end of this month, Marcelo is set to depart the Bernabeu – and will no doubt look back fondly on his time with Real.

Chief among his favourite memories will likely be his belter of a tackle to deny Messi a strike on goal in March 2020 during a crucial encounter with Barcelona.

In the midst of a closely-contested 2019/2020 title race, Real had just taken the lead against La Blaugrana in their final showdown of the season.

Victory would see Madrid replace Barca at the top of the table, but Messi looked odds on to level matters as he rampaged over the halfway line and moved menacingly in on goal.

Marcelo v Messi: Real Madrid star's celebration of goal-saving tackle is still epic
MADRID, SPAIN – MARCH 01: Marcelo of Real Madrid is brought down by Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona during the Liga match between Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 01, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

From this kind of scenario, there was typically only one result. Marcelo, however, was in no mood to allow the Argentine icon to score and came up with a sensational last-ditch challenge to knock the ball out for a corner.

The intervention was a massive moment in both the match and the season. Marcelo immediately realised it too, punching the air as though he had just scored a goal himself.

You can check out the magnificent challenge, as well as Marcelo’s joyous reaction, below.

Watch: Marcelo celebrates after denying Messi with an epic last-ditch challenge

Real went on to make it 2-0 in the final moments of the game and ultimately raised the La Liga trophy at the end of the season.

Momentum is vital in these end-of-season duels, though, and things could have been very different had Marcelo not been able to stop Messi in fine style as he did.

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