—- Marcelo Martins flopped on to his hotel bed and removed from his pocket a mobile phone that had been beeping as relentlessly as Sputnik 1. “I felt like I was living in another world,” he recalled.
The hulking striker’s emotions were stratospheric as he watched the video messages in his family’s WhatsApp group. He felt immeasurable pride. He felt incontrovertible justification.
Every hamburger Marcelo had sold as a kid to afford his bus fare to training had been worth it. The decision he had made as a 19-year-old to ignore his Brazilian, Seleção-mad dad – Marcelo was the No9 for Brazil’s U-20s at the time – and pursue a senior international career with Bolivia had been vindicated.
A third goal in as many FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifiers had made the 33-year-old his country’s all-time leading marksman. He was, and still is, ecstatic at that piece of history. He will not, however, be satisfied until he makes another.
Marcelo desperately wants to play at the World Cup, and he believes Bolivia will be there next year. Ahead of La Verde’s clashes with Venezuela and Chile, the Cruzeiro player chats to FIFA.com about choosing between Bolivia and Brazil, the former’s start to Qatar 2022 qualifying, his belief they can reach the global finals, his spat with Lionel Messi and breaking the aforementioned record.
Nuestra historia es eterna