Brazilian who conquered Manchester City brings Euro Pedigree to Wanderland

Two years ago, Marcelo Guedes was part of an Olympique Lyonnais side that knocked Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City – and the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan – out of the UEFA Champions League at the quarter final stages. 

Marcelo, 35, arrives at Wanderland off the back of a near-600-game career, starting in Brazil with Santos FC, before traversing leagues in Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, Turkey and France.

Mark Rudan’s significant, attention-grabbing re-build at Western Sydney now includes a signing with five domestic titles to his name who was rarely beaten in 66 games in both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.

Honour roll

Marcelo’s five domestic titles have come from three different countries across Europe. 

The Brazilian is a two-time Turkish Champion (Beşiktaş J.K. 2015/16, 2016/17), Dutch Super Cup winner and Dutch Cup winner in 2013 and 2011-12 respectively with PSV Eindhoven, and a Polish Champion (Wisła Kraków 2008/09). 

Champions League and Europa League exploits

Marcelo concluded his 14-year stint in Europe having become well accustomed to life at the top table of club football.

His extensive experience in the top two tiers of European competition was accrued first at PSV, then Beşiktaş and Lyon. He’s played 66 times across the Champions League and Europa League, winning 29 times, drawing 23 and losing on just 14 occasions.


Lyon 3-1 Manchester City 

August 15, 2020

Lyon caused a major boilover at the Estádio José Alvalade in Portugal when they knocked out unbackable favourites Manchester City to progress to the semi-finals. 

Marcelo played 90 minutes as the French outfit stunned Guardiola’s side; Lyon’s dream run ended four days later, with Marcelo featuring for another 90 minutes in a 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich.

Bayern progressed to the final, defeating Paris Saint-Germain to lift the Champions League trophy.

Marcelo tackles former City striker Gabriel Jesus in the Champions League quarter-finals, 2020.

Lyon 1-0 Juventus

February 26, 2020

Juventus travelled to Groupama Stadium to face Lyon with Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo leading the attack for the Italian giants. 

Marcelo was a key figure in Lyon’s rear-guard action, playing at the heart of a back three and helping to keep a clean sheet; Lucas Tousart supplied the opening goal for Lyon in the 31st minute and the hosts never looked back to register an impressive victory despite holding just 36.4% of possession.

Marcelo receives a yellow card during Lyon’s 1-0 win over Juventus during the first leg of his the Champions League Round of 16 clash.

Manchester City 1-2 Lyon 

September 19, 2018

Starting on the right of a back three, Marcelo played 90 minutes as Lyon stunned City at the Etihad Stadium in September of 2018. First-half goals to Maxwell Cornet and Nabil Fekir put the visitors in command; Bernardo Silva would strike in the second stanza but Marcelo and co. held out to register an impressive victory on the home turf of the reigning English champions. 

Marcelo attempts to deny former City forward Raheem Sterling space to shoot.

A 2-2 draw to City in the second group stage clash between the two sides was to follow in November, 2018. The two 2018 results followed by Lyon’s quarter-final triumph in 2020 ensured Marcelo kept an undefeated record against City in the Champions League across three fixtures (2W, 1D) in which the Brazilian clocked 180 minutes of game time. 

Western Sydney have landed a player with rich European experience…

In the 2017/18 Champions League season, Marcelo enjoyed two wins against Everton, and a further two against LaLiga outfit Villarreal. 

From September, 2018 to February, 2019 Marcelo enjoyed a run of seven Champions League games undefeated, beginning with the 2-1 win over City at the Etihad and ending with a 0-0 draw against FC Barcelona in which Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez both played 90 minutes.

Marcelo tangles with Lionel Messi.
Marcelo tracks Luis Suárez.

In 2017, whilst at Beşiktaş, Marcelo ventured to the Europa League quarter-finals, playing the first of two legs: a 2-1 loss against his future employers Lyon. Beşiktaş would go on to fall to Lyon in the second leg on penalties after reversing the score of the first leg.

Marcelo has faced Italian Serie A side Napoli on four occasions across the Europa and Champions League, winning three times and drawing once. 

Along the way, he has not only encountered some of the world’s most notable players, but played alongside them. In 2007, a 20-year-old Marcelo was joined at Santos by Zé Roberto, who won LaLiga and Champions League titles with Real Madrid and became a key figure at Bayern Munich in the early 2000’s.

Zé Roberto in action for Real Madrid in 1997.

At PSV, Marcelo played with the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum, Ji-sung Park, Mark van Bommel and Dries Mertens – not to mention former A-Leagues recruits Orlando Engelaar, Ola Toivonen and Luciano Narsingh.

At Beşiktaş Marcelo joined forces with Portuguese centre-back Pepe – and after playing with Memphis at PSV, the pair reunited at Lyon, where Marcelo would go on to rub shoulders with Nabil Fekir, Ferland Mendy, Tanguy Ndombele and Maxwel Cornet. 

Ji-sung Park of PSV challenges AC Milan’s Andrea Pirlo.

A fresh start in the Isuzu UTE A-League

Marcelo joins Rudan’s Wanderers after a tough individual campaign in Ligue 1.

Contracted until 2023, Marcelo and Lyon reached an agreement to terminate his contract prematurely; he would go on to sign for Bordeaux in January of 2022, featuring in 11 games (one win, three draws, seven defeats) as Bordeaux were relegated from the French top flight. 

A fresh opportunity awaits Marcelo on Australian shores this season, with Western Sydney becoming the new home of the 191cm defender.

Upon signing for his new club, Marcelo outlined his aspirations for the upcoming ALM campaign.

“What brings me to Australia is firstly the project of the Wanderers for the season, we want to build a good team and we want to fight for big things,” Marcelo said.

“I have heard lots of good things from players and people that have played in Australia and I am sure it will not be easy as every league has its difficulties and particular qualities.

“I want to achieve the highest goals possible at the club. My individual goals are to always give my best for the team, learn with my teammates and fight for big things.

“As a group, I am sure we are going to be a big family and all go in the same direction to achieve this success.”

Marcelo is Western Sydney’s 16th off-season arrival. He’s one of Rudan’s key signings in the overhaul alongside Lawrence Thomas, Romain Amalfitano, Oliver Bozanic and Brandon Borrello. 

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