Marcelo leaving Real Madrid after fifth Champions League title

Real Madrid's Marcelo gestures as he holds the trophy after winning the Champions League final soccer match between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade de France in Saint Denis near Paris, Saturday, May 28, 2022. (Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP)

MADRID (AP) — Lifting yet another Champions League trophy, Marcelo put an end to his era at Real Madrid.

The veteran Brazilian left back said after the team's 1-0 win over Liverpool in the Champions League final on Saturday that he will not continue playing for the club.

“It was my last match with Real Madrid,” the 34-year-old Marcelo said. “I’m not sad. I couldn’t be happier as I leave the club. I’m very thankful. It's the end of a very beautiful cycle.”

Marcelo is leaving 16 years after he joined from Brazilian club Fluminense in 2006 to take over from Brazil great Roberto Carlos.

Marcelo said he plans to play another couple of years before retiring, but gave no hints about where. He said coaching is not in his plans for the future.

“I don’t think coaching is for me. I think I’m bad at it, I’m not good with tactics. I have no idea how that works," Marcelo said with a smile.

Marcelo had won his 24th trophy with the club last month, when Madrid won the Spanish league for a record-extending 35th time. He won his 23rd title in the Spanish Super Cup in January, tying great Francisco “Paco” Gento, whose heyday was the 1950s and 60s.

Karim Benzema won his 22nd title with Madrid on Saturday, tying former defender Sergio Ramos. Benzema and Marcelo are among the several Madrid players who tied former club player Cristiano Ronaldo with five Champions League trophies. Gento has six European titles.

In his collection of honors, Marcelo has six Spanish league trophies, four Club World Cups, three UEFA Super Cups, two Copa del Reys and five Spanish Super Cups. He also has won a Confederations Cup and two Olympic medals with Brazil.

Marcelo lost his spot as a starter this season and hadn’t played often under coach Carlo Ancelotti. He did not get to play in Saturday's final.

Other players expected to leave Madrid this season include Gareth Bale and Francisco Isco. Luka Modric is set to have his contract renewed.

Marcelo’s former Brazil teammate, Dani Alves, has the most career titles with 41, most of them with Barcelona.

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