In the past 3 months, Real Madrid has lost their first-choice centre-back pairing of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane. Ramos was let go after 16 years at the Santiago Bernabeu when the club deciding against renewing his contract. His partner, Varane moved to Manchester United in a £40m deal after spending 10 years with the Los Blancos. The Ramos-Varane partnership helped the Los Blancos to 4 UEFA Champions League titles, 2 La Liga titles and other domestic and continental titles.
In the aftermath of the departures, only David Alaba has been added to the defensive ranks at Madrid this season. Alaba joined on a free transfer from Bayern Munich and joins up with former coach Carlo Ancelotti. He is a versatile player, able to play at left-back, centre-back, defensive midfield, left wing-back and left-winger. Also, he automatically becomes the most experienced defender in the Madrid squad. The other experienced campaigners are Marcelo, Dani Carvajal and Thibaut Courtois. This leaves a good battle for who would lead the defensive ranks for Madrid this season.
Sergio Ramos was the undisputed leader and captain of the Madrid side before his departure but his absence could mean Marcelo steps into this position. Brazilian left-back Marcelo has been in the squad as long as anyone and was part of all 4 Champions League-winning teams. He also possesses the leadership qualities and club knowledge needed to marshal the Los Blancos defence. Despite having recently lost his place in the first 11 to Ferland Mendy, Marcelo could still lead the team from the dressing room and extend his influence to the pitch.
Another candidate to lead the Blancos defence is Alaba. The utility player has been the Austrian national team captain for a long time and has proven his leadership skills over and over again. The fact that the Austrian defender is a multi-winner of the UEFA Champions League and is expected to walk straight into the Madrid team also adds credence to his case to lead the Madrid defence this season.