The Brazilian is required to be present at a polling station on May 4, the day before the meeting with the Blues in Europe’s premier club competition
Real Madrid left-back Marcelo has been selected for local election duties, which take place the day before the Champions League second-leg clash with Chelsea – meaning his participation in the match could be in doubt.
The Brazilian would be unable to fly to England with the rest of the Madrid squad for the match at Stamford Bridge, with Covid-19 restrictions making it difficult for him to travel on the same day of the game.
However, Madrid plan to request that the 32-year-old left-back be excused from those duties to allow him to travel with the rest of Zinedine Zidane’s team, and then be named in the squad for the fixture.
Why has Marcelo been selected for election duties?
All Spanish residents that appear on the electoral register face the possibility of being required to assist with election duties, where they are paid €65 (£56/$78).
The draw for polling station duty was made on April 5, with Brazil international Marcelo – who was granted Spanish citizenship in 2011 – having been selected to monitor the elections at the Madrid assembly on May 4.
Marcelo’s Madrid team-mate Victor Chust has also reportedly been selected to assist with the local election, although he is currently absent through injury and wasn’t in the squad for the 1-1 draw with Chelsea.
Will Marcelo miss the match against Chelsea?
It’s difficult to ascertain if Marcelo will definitely be unavailable to face Thomas Tuchel’s side at this stage, although El Mundo reports that the Liga club’s initial appeal to the Electoral Commission had been declined.
There have been occasions previously where players called up for similar duties have been excused on the basis of them needing to play for their respective clubs, which Madrid will undoubtedly point to in their attempts to have Marcelo available.
However, in those instances the players in question have had matches on the same day as the elections, whereas in Marcelo’s case the Champions League semi-final second leg takes place the following day, on May 5.
Levante goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez was excused from election duties in November 2019 due to his side’s fixture against Athletic Club going ahead on the same day.
In a similar case, Athletic forward Inaki Williams was not required to be present at a polling station back in 2015 as his team had a league fixture, ironically against Levante, that would have clashed with the election.
Should Madrid be without Marcelo, who started the first leg of the tie, Zidane will be hoping Ferland Mendy recovers from a muscle injury in time and, if not, he may be forced to select Alvaro Odriozola, Dani Carvajal or even Marco Asensio in an unfamiliar role.