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Who is Marvel? The In-house Aurelien Tchouameni Lookalike at Real Madrid

Who is Marvel? The In-house Aurelien Tchouameni Lookalike at Real Madrid

Real Madrid are eyeing an ambitious European double to cap off a memorable and intense 2023/24 season. Despite awful injuries to key players like Thibaut Courtois, Eder Militao and David Alaba, Carlo Ancelotti’s side have kept going strong.

A reason why they overcame the defensive crisis is because of French midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni – a vital and versatile hard worker for the club. The 24-year-old has earned a lot of praise for his heroics performances, especially having to play as a makeshift centre-back over the last few months. The Frenchman has established himself as a key, regular starter for Ancelotti’s side, but it turns out he might have a lookalike in the Real Madrid squad.

In the clips of a recent training session, some Real Madrid fans were astounded to see how similar young centre-back Marvel looks to the Tchouameni. Indeed, the 6-foot-tall 21-year-old centre-back, an inch shorter than Aurelien, seems to have a similar short haircut and almost the same body shape as the Frenchman – which could cause a lot of confusion to a lot of fans.

Marvel has been training with Real Madrid’s senior team for the majority of the 2023/24 season, despite not yet making his senior debut. The 21-year-old actually has an interesting, deep-rooted bond with the Spanish heavyweights. Born to a Nigerian mother in Casablanca, Morocco, Marvelous Antonil Garzon (his real name) was brought to Spain at the age of three and adopted by a Spanish family.

He never knew who his biological parents were, but Diego and Isabael – his adoptive parents – treated him like their own and encouraged his footballing career. He was enrolled into the Real Madrid youth academy at the age of six in 2010, but only spent one year with them before moving onto Atletico Madrid.

In general, he is a bit of a shy person in real life who has some interesting hobbies, as his parents noted to “He is a very normal boy. He loves birds, and he has many at home. He is also passionate about flamenco, he adores Camaron (a popular Spanish flamenco singer).”

From the age of seven to 13, Marvel kept changing clubs and playing for different Madrid-based sides’ academy – including the likes of Alcala and Rayo Vallecano. In 2016, he rejoined Real Madrid’s youth academy and has been a part of the club ever since. At the age of 18, Marvel started playing for Real Madrid’s B (reserves) side and also made his debut for the Spain under-19 side – as he has a Spanish passport thanks to his adoptive parents.

In three years, he has made over 45 appearances for Real Madrid B and is now training with the senior team. He has caught the eye of many prominent club figures with his performances at the reserve level, with Florentino Perez personally visiting the dressing room after a 0-0 draw against Barcelona B in 2021 to voice his admiration for the Spaniard.

The 21-year-old has earned a lot of praise from Los Blancos’ youth team coaches, who noted about him and stated: “He is a strong central defender who is quick into the tackle and forceful when contesting the ball. Good in the air, he’s a real team player who gives his all out on the pitch. A good striker of the ball, he uses this quality to play long passes that bring plenty to the team in attack.”

Marvel is also smartly represented by agent Alfonso Zapata of the Roalza Sports Agency, who last year helped him sign a new three-year contract with Real Madrid until 2026. That could’ve posed as a sign that a first-debut was imminent. But the 21-year-old is yet to get to play for the senior team as a centre-back ahead of the likes of Tchouameni or even Ferland Mendy – let alone the natural centre-backs.

With that being said, considering how often he’s training with the senior players is an indication that Carlo Ancelotti is eyeing a role for Marvel in the first-team in the near future. But it’s upon the 21-year-old to stand out from the rest and not become another Real Madrid youth academy graduate who were sold before being able to make their debuts, like Juan Mata or Alvaro Morata.

Marvel might have a similar physique to Tchouameni, but to reach the same level as the French midfielder, he must outperform his senior defenders in training and then be near-flawless when he does get to start playing for Los Blancos.