Marcelo and grandfather Pedro's Volkswagen Beetle: the story behind a tattoo

The former Real Madrid full-back had the German brand’s model tattooed. A memory of his childhood, when without the help of his grandfather he would have left the world of football

Federico Mariani

A Champions League raised to the sky to say goodbye after 15 years. The paths of Marcelo and Real Madrid have separated after a triumphal season, which ended with the sixth Liga and the fifth victory in the top European competition. An exceptional loot for an extraordinary player, whose story began with great difficulty in Brazil. The period of adolescence marked the full-back who, to remind himself and others, tattooed a Volkswagen Beetle on his right arm. A car with a very special meaning.


The model of the German brand is one of the most iconic and popular in the world. In Portuguese it was nicknamed “fusquinha”, that is “scarab”, precisely because of the shape that recalls the insect. Marcelo remembers it very well because it was the means of transport with which grandfather Pedro accompanied him to training. At the Real Madrid channels, the full-back confessed: “It means a lot to me. I have experienced many things with him ”. It was his grandfather who convinced him not to give up football when his career was not taking off. Pedro was personally involved, even driving at night behind the wheel of the Volkswagen Beetle in order to allow his nephew to arrive in time at Xerem, the training center, which was an hour’s drive from home. The sacrifices made pushed Marcelo to never give up, fulfilling the wish of his grandfather who hoped to see him at least once in the legendary Maracana. His debut took place in 2005 with the Fluminense shirt.


The Beetle was one of the most famous models produced by Volkswagen. Launched in 1938, it was born with the idea of ​​being able to motorize the whole of Europe. Design and functionality have taken care of making this winning car, with a rear-wheel drive vehicle equipped with a 34 HP 4-cylinder engine. Diffusion has known no limits and the German brand has also successfully entered the South American market. Here the Beetle has meant access to mobility for thousands of people. Produced until 2003, it is the longest-lived model, with its 65 years of activity.

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