The 24-year-old arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu in January 2007 from Fluminense as a future heir to Roberto Carlos, and has since lived up to expectations by becoming a first-choice performer for Real.

"I think I am the best left-back in the world because I have to believe in myself," Marcelo told Globoesporte.

"I have to think about myself and continue growing [as a player]."

The Brazilian's start to the season was curtailed by a metatarsal injury which he sustained during a training session back in October.

However, he is being primed to make a return in January, and he revealed the legendary ex-Madrid full-back has been a source of inspiration whilst being on the sidelines.

"I felt my foot buckle," Marcelo added. "My legs were shaking but I did not think the injury was that bad.

"[Roberto Carlos] is my idol, everybody knows that. Even today, when I talk to him I get nervous. He was always the best."