Marcelo knows where FIFA buried the bodies. He’s also presumably holding their loved ones hostage.
Why else would the Brazilian defender, for whom tracking back is tantamount to getting a wisdom tooth removed sans anaesthetic, have been included in the snappily-titled FIFA FIFPro Men’s World11 for a fifth consecutive season?
In fairness, the four previous years can just about be excused on account of the 31-year-old taking home three Champions League medals.
But for much of last season Marcelo wasn’t even the best left-back at Madrid, let alone the leading lefty in the world.
Sergio Reguilon started 13 of Madrid’s 38 La Liga games last season. Only when Zinedine Zidane return to the Bernabeu in March did Marcelo usurp Reguilon in the Madrid pecking order.
Ferland Mendy, a €48million summer arrival from Lyon, has since replaced Reguilon, with Zidane opting to split game time between the Frenchman and Marcelo this season.
But Marcelo’s inclusion shouldn’t come as a surprise. FIFA do little to disguise the fact that their award ceremony is a popularity contest.
Sergio Ramos takes his place alongside Marcelo in the FIFPro Men’s World11 for a ninth consecutive year, while Luka Modric is included for a fifth consecutive year.
Neither had a particularly impressive 2019 as Madrid finished the season with a solitary FIFA Club World Cup to their name, the equivalent of relegation for most other sides in world football.
Andy Robertson was clearly the best left-back of 2019. Anyone who says otherwise is either a Man United fan or Marcelo.
The 25-year-old was a revelation in helping knock Madrid off their f****** perch in Europe, something that seems to have completely missed FIFA by.
Robertson provided 11 assists in the Premier League and two in the Champions League, compared to Marcelo’s tally of two and one respectively.
The Scotsman can at least console himself in being included in both the Champions League Squad of the Season and the Premier League team of the Season.
FIFA’s decision to completely ignore right-backs was also somewhat baffling.
Dani Alves’ reign of four consecutive seasons in the XI came to an end, but FIFA decided to include Matthijs de Ligt alongside Virgil van Dijk, Ramos and Marcelo.
Whether FIFA intended to shoehorn Ramos into the side at right-back and hope no one noticed, despite the Spaniard not playing as a full-back regularly for more than a decade, remains to be seen.
But Trent Alexander-Arnold has every right to join Robertson in chaining himself to FIFA’s headquarters in protest. We’re more than happy to join them.
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