BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. (Dec. 27, 2018) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club announced today it has acquired central defender Marcelo dos Santos Ferreira, commonly referred to as Marcelo, via transfer from Portuguese first-division club Sporting CP. The 29-year-old defender is under contract for the 2019 and 2020 MLS seasons. He will be added to the Fire’s roster pending the completion of a physical and receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
“Marcelo will add necessary leadership along our back line,” said Chicago Fire Soccer Club President and General Manager Nelson Rodriguez. “He is a smart defender who participates in every phase of the game. He is known as a solid teammate and he is driven to win, which fits our locker room well.”
Marcelo joins the Fire after spending the past eight seasons in the Portuguese Primeira Liga, compiling 172 league appearances (171 starts). A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Marcelo began his career in Portugal’s first division with Rio Ave FC in 2011. The central defender spent seven seasons (2011-18) with Rio Ave FC, tallying at least 20 league starts in five of his seven seasons with the Club. Additionally, while playing with Rio Ave FC, Marcelo made 11 appearances (10 starts) in the UEFA Europa League.
Joining Primera Liga powerhouse Sporting CP ahead of the 2018-19 campaign, Marcelo has made one appearance for the Club, starting and playing 90 minutes in the Portuguese League Cup against G.D. Estoril Praia on Oct. 31, 2018.
Transaction: Chicago Fire Soccer Club acquires defender Marcelo dos Santos Ferreira via transfer from Sporting CP on Dec. 27, 2018.