Brazilian and Lyon central defender Marcelo has released a statement in English via social media today in the wake of his open conflict with a section of the club’s fans.
“Football is my passion, my life and I live my love with great intensity. I come from a humble and working family, thanks to the good education I received from my parents. With hard-work and perseverance, I managed to win in football. Playing at Santos, leaving Brazil, being champion in many countries like Poland, Holland and Turkey is not for everyone & I came to Lyon looking for new experiences and challenges: a big club with a beautiful history. I have always honoured and had much respect for this institution. No player is above a club, there is nothing to question about it, but I’ve always been a player who leaves everything on the field, works hard, for his shirt! And I always expect the support of my fans.”
“I’m lucky to be able to work in the game I love so much. I know that each country has its culture, its traditions and therefore respect the customs and even criticism are always welcome, both constructive and negative. Since last year, members of the Bad Gones supporters group had been campaigning against me and I have even been threatened by a member of this group after the Champions’ League match against Benfica. And I’m not the first problem who has a problem with this organised group. Given this, I cannot be silent and be treated in this way. I am against any kind of insult and racism. I also apologise if my reaction hurt someone after seeing a bad-looking banner directed at me that was already there for a few games and right after our qualification for the next round of the Champions’ League, but each has a limit. I would like to thank the support of my team-mates, especially the athletes who were with me at the time and who are following this situation, who are giving me support. It was for them that I was there too.”
“I may even be a dreamer and I expect so much from who, in my view, should support me, but I have a different view of the experiences I had in my life. I expect so much from Lyon’s supporters and I confess that I was a little surprised and even disappointed at times with this organised group. I have witnessed the same problem with some co-workers here in the last two and a half years I am in Lyon. I understand that this team has not won titles in several years and the expectation is to always win. Football clubs live by titles and at Lyon it can be no different. We have a good team, a winning group and with hard-work Lyon will get where they deserve (to be).”