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Alejandro Grimaldo: I joined Leverkusen to win titles. Marcelo is my idol

In a conversation with Fabrizio Romano, Alejandro Grimaldo, Bayer Leverkusen’s dynamic left-back, delved into his exceptional season, the years at La Masia – Barcelona’s youth adademy, and the influences that have shaped his career. Currently experiencing the best campaign of his career, the Spaniard boasts an impressive tally of 11 goals and 11 assists across all competitions this season. He has been a key part on the left side of Xabi Alonso’s team and has already played 33 matches in Bayer’s shirt.

Opnening on what influenced him the most in his early days, Grimaldo did not hesitate to express his admiration for Leo Messi, whom he regards as the greatest player of all time. His time at La Masia allowed him to observe Messi’s brilliance up close, an experience that has left a mark on him. However, when the talk swirled around Grimaldo’s position on the field, Real Madrid’s Marcelo is the figure he looks up to, naming him as the best left-back in history and a personal idol.

The 28 year old defender moved to Bayer Leverkusen last summer as a free agent after the expiration of his contract with Benfica. He says it was a calculated step, motivated by his ambition to win titles and the trust in the team’s potential. After arriving in Leverkusen, the player’s expectations were surpassed right from the beginning. “The team was even better than I expected… I already felt that in the pre-season” Grimaldo shared.

On a personal note, Grimaldo expressed a deep respect for manager and compatriot Xabi Alonso by praising his demanding, yet respectful coaching style. Grimaldo sees Alonso’s leadership as invaluable, wishing he had the opportunity to be coached by someone like him during the early stages of his career.