Clasico won't decide title – Marcelo

Real Madrid and Barcelona face one another on March 22, with many expecting the winner to go on and win La Liga, but the Brazilian thinks otherwise

Real Madrid left-back Marcelo  has dismissed suggestions the upcoming Clasico encounter with Barcelona will be decisive in the La Liga title race.

Madrid are two points clear of their arch-rivals at the top of the division and face Luis Enrique’s side in a crunch meeting at Camp Nou on March 22.

Barca are the form team going into the game, with Carlo Ancelotti’s men stumbling in recent weeks, having drawn 1-1 with Villarreal last weekend.

But, regardless of the result between sides in two weeks’ time, Marcelo believes there will still be more twists and turns ahead.

“It will be a key game, but so is Athletic and Levante,” he told O Globo. “I do not believe the Clasico will be decisive in the title race.”

The left-back briefly touched on his friendship with Barca star and compatriot Neymar, adding that the pair “don’t talk about football” when in each other’s company, before praising Madrid boss Ancelotti.

“It helps a lot to have the confidence of the coach. In the way he communicates, we try and communicate with him. We are showing that we are on his side. He gives us the peace of mind to let us get on with our jobs.”

Marcelo received good news on Friday when he was handed a Brazil recall for their upcoming friendlies against France and Chile.

The 26-year-old was part of the Selecao squad at last summer’s World Cup but found himself among the casualties of a failed tournament.

Brazil were humiliated 7-1 by Germany in the semi-finals and new coach Dunga, who replaced the outgoing Luiz Felipe Scolari, opted to leave Marcelo out of his first squads.

The former Selecao midfielder is believed to harbour doubts over the full-back’s defensive abilities but has called him up following an injury to Porto’s Alex Sandro.

His impressive form for Madrid, which saw him score a stunning goal in the first leg of their last-16 Champions League tie with Schalke, has also won over the national team boss.

“I’m happy to be back, my expectations are now simple, win games and do well.”

Marcelo will do battle with Chelsea full-back Filipe Luis, whose place is under threat after failing to establish himself at Chelsea following his summer move from Atletico Madrid.

Brazil face France at the Stade De France on March 26 before taking on Chile three days later.

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