Barcelona legend Dani Alves could team up with former Real Madrid captain Marcelo in an ambitious plan from Real Valladolid president Ronaldo Nazario.
The legendary former Brazil international striker oversaw Valladolid’s promotion back to La Liga after one season in the second tier and is now hopeful of making the two marquee signings, according to Brazilian media outlet UOL Esporte. Both Alves, 39, and Marcelo, 34, are free agents after leaving rival El Clasico teams this summer with both now a ‘personal project’ of Ronaldo’s – who would not have to break the bank to accommodate their wage demands.
Barca did not extend the short-term contract of Alves even though the veteran right-back was hoping to stay at the club for at least the first half of next season to keep his World Cup dream alive, meaning that he is now a free agent and on the lookout for a new club.
The Brazilian right-back became the first signing of Blaugrana boss Xavi Hernandez at the Camp Nou, arriving on a free transfer in January after his contract was cancelled at Sao Paulo last September. Alves returned to the club after five-and-a-half years away earlier this season and has become an important member of the first-team squad, playing 17 matches in the second half of the campaign for the Blaugrana – scoring once.
Alves wants to participate in his fourth World Cup and add to his 122 caps for the Selecao, for whom he has won multiple Copa America tournaments alongside last year’s Olympics Gold medal. But he has never tasted success in the World Cup.
Marcelo said his goodbyes to Real Madrid last month after it was confirmed he was leaving this summer at the end of his contract. The veteran Brazilian has spent 16 years at the Santiago Bernabeu and, while it had been anticipated that he would be returning to his native Brazil, no future move has yet been confirmed and he could yet in stay in Europe.
Angel Martinez/Real Madrid via Getty Images)
The left-back’s glittering career in the Spanish capital saw him win 25 trophies – more than any other player in the club’s history after he surpassed the previous record held by club legend Paco Gento, who won 23 trophies with Los Blancos. Not only did Marcelo break the record, he also became the first non-Spanish player to captain Real Madrid to the league title and the Champions League crown. The Brazilian assumed the leadership role at the start of the season after Sergio Ramos left to join Paris Saint-Germain.
Marcelo said of his exit from Madrid: “I don’t feel like a legend. I am a person that enjoys every moment. I had the luck of being captain and lifting the cup before my goodbye. Already the last match was a mini-goodbye but now I can’t say goodbye better than with my fifth Champions League. It has closed a beautiful cycle.”
Marcelo then grew into the long-term successor to another Brazilian club legend, Roberto Carlos, in the position for over a decade, helping Real Madrid – for whom he made 546 first-team appearances – to plenty of success domestically and in Europe.
Ronaldo became the majority owner of Valladolid in September 2018, after buying 51 percent of the club’s shares in a deal worth £25million. In December, the former striker also purchased Brazilian giants Cruzeiro – where he began his glorious playing career.
Valladolid were relegated from La Liga a year ago but have now returned after just a one-year absence after winning automatic promotion from the Segunda, alongside Almeria and Girona.