Brasilia: Marcelo, one of Brazil`s best-known players, does not consider himself an automatic choice to start the opening World Cup match against Croatia and said all the squad knew they must fight for places.
Defender Marcelo, who has 30 caps, has consistently been one of the first names on Luiz Felipe Scolari’s team sheet since the experienced coach took over the national side for the second time in November 2012.
But the 25-year old Real Madrid player said he had the utmost respect for Maxwell, the Paris St Germain defender considered his understudy for the left back spot.
“I don’t feel like I am an automatic choice. If I was to say that it would be disrespectful to Maxwell,” Marcelo told reporters at Brazil’s training ground outside Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.
“We are all in the same boat, fighting for a position, I want to play and he wants to play and we are here to help the squad,” he added. “I don’t feel comfortable.”
Most players and fans have a clear idea of Scolari’s starting 11.
His settled team is the one that lifted the Confederations Cup last year, winning five out of five matches, and it was the one Scolari fielded in training on Thursday against 11 reserves.
That team was Julio Cesar; Daniel Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Luiz Gustavo, Paulinho, Oscar; Hulk, Neymar and Fred.
However, the reserves, while acknowledging their task was tough, are aiming to keep showing Scolari their worth.
“We know that the team is established and has been playing very well together, it’s difficult to get a place because they really are all set,” said Inter Milan midfielder Hernanes.
“The objective of those who aren’t playing is to keep plugging way, and that’s positive for the group because it ensures the guy who’s first choice can’t rest on his laurels,” he added.
Brazil kick off the World Cup on June 12 against Croatia in Sao Paulo and then play two more Group A games against Mexico and Cameroon. The South American nation is hosting the tournament for the first time since 1950.