Marcos – epic 500 mark

Goalkeeper Marcos was the centre of attention this Wednesday (18) at the Palmeiras clubhouse. The day before “Saint Marcos” will reach the number of 500 games in the Palmeiras jersey – in the very important confrontation against Vitória in the South America Cup – he received from Coach Luiz Felipe Scolari a special jersey with the number 500.

As he was handing over the shirt, Scolari got emotional: “I met Marcos when he was still a kid; he’s a companion, a friend in my personal and professional life”, he said with tears in his eyes.

During Marcos’ career, he has taken part in 244 victories, 133 draws and 122 losses. Only six players have played more games for Palmeiras: Ademir da Guia (901), Leão (617), Dudu (609), Waldemar Fiúme (601), Valdemar Carabina (584) and Luís Pereira (568). Marcos himself considers it a miracle that he’s still active. “I suffered a serious injury – of a kind only two professional athletes had experienced before me – and had to undergo surgery in my right hand. These other two both gave up their careers, I keep going” he said with a smile. “I am very grateful to all people who have taken care of me during this whole time”.

On receiving a question about which games he remembers as the best and the worst, he pondered for a moment. “One of the worst was against Manchester (in the World Club Championship final of 1999) and I admitted my mistake as soon as the game was over. It’s a burden I carry to this day. Another was my error against Vitória, in a game that Palmeiras lost 7-2, a really bad beating. But these were all mistakes that taught me something. After this, I have made fewer mistakes and matured a lot.”

“As of most memorable games, there’s the Copa Libertadores final of 1999, against Deportivo, and the World Cup of 2002. In my opinion, I performed perfectly in the World Cup, including in the final.”

When questioned about the current squad, Marcos limited himself to saying that he talk a lot to his teammates about keeping regularity, stay concentrated and respect all opponents. “Players need to identify with the club, in the way that Kleber and Valdivia do, and Palmeiras is looking for that kind of spirit in players”, he said.

What about the future? “I’ve been saying that anything past 500 games is a bonus”, he laughed. “I’ll keep it up for as long as I can. I talk every day to the medical department, with Carlos Pracidelli (goalkeeper trainer), and I know that I can not always play both Wednesdays and Sundays. As I’ve said before: I’ve cried plenty upon injuring myself, as you never know how you will play on your return. It’s all been a great learning experience that has made me grow as a man and a professional”, he finalises.

— ooo —

Saint Marcos: from Anything Palmeiras, our sincerest congratulations for the first 500 games in the Palmeiras jersey and a wish for yet many a happy moments in our colours, starting already as of this coming game!

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