Rafael Márquez with Barcelona in 2009
|Full name||Rafael Márquez Álvarez|
|Date of birth||13 February 1979|
|Place of birth||Zamora, Michoacán, Mexico|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back / Defensive midfielder|
|2010–2012||New York Red Bulls||44||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 29 January 2014.
† Appearances (Goals).
Rafael Márquez Álvarez (locally: [rafaˈel markes ˈalβaɾes]; born 13 February 1979), also referred to as Rafa, is a Mexican footballer currently playing for Club León of the Liga MX and the Mexico national team. He plays as a central defender or defensive midfielder.
Márquez spent over a decade playing in Europe, winning numerous titles with AS Monaco and Barcelona. In 2006 he became the first Mexican player to win the UEFA Champions League when Barcelona defeated Arsenal.
Márquez began his career at Mexican club Atlas, for whom he débuted in 1996 at only 17 years of age. Márquez rose to prominence while with Atlas, making 77 appearances for the team and being runner-up in the league, losing the final against Toluca on penalties during the Verano 1999 tournament.
In 1999, AS Monaco purchased him for €7 million. Monaco scouts had gone to see Pablo Contreras during the Copa América tournament that year. After seeing Márquez play, they signed both players. In his first season, Monaco became Ligue 1 champions. In 2003, Márquez was signed by La Liga giants FC Barcelona.
In his first season with Barcelona, Márquez appeared 21 times, and the team came in second place in La Liga. During his second season, he was moved from his natural position as a centre back to a defensive midfield role, due to injuries to players Thiago Motta, Edmílson and Gerard López. That year Barcelona won its 17th league title on 14 May 2005 after a 1–1 tie with Levante. After an injury in his left knee, he returned after a month to play against Milan in the first leg of the 2006 UEFA Champions League semi-final. Barcelona, playing away at the San Siro, won 1–0.
Márquez was present in the Champions League final on 17 May 2006 for Barcelona, in which they won the tournament over Arsenal. This achievement made him the first Mexican football player to ever win this competition, something Hugo Sánchez was not able to do during his time in La Liga with Real Madrid. After the 2006 World Cup, Barcelona extended his contract for the following 4 years to €38.5 million which would see his contract end in June 2010. Despite sustaining injuries, he was rumoured to be up for sale at the end of the 2006–07 season. His future at Barça was up in the air until the 2007 Copa América where Mexico finished in third lace.
In the 2007–08 season, Márquez formed a partnership with new signing Gabriel Milito while captain Carles Puyol was out injured. However, constant injuries threw off his form. Márquez's success declined with the rest of the season leading Barcelona to end up in third place after a miserable second half where injuries lead to his contribution being negligible. Even so, new coach Pep Guardiola continued to rely on his contributions; with the departure of Ronaldinho, Márquez had become the last original signing of the Rijkaard era to remain on the team.
Márquez was Guardiola's first choice at centre back along with captain Puyol for the 2008–09 season. On 13 December 2008, Márquez played his 200th match for Barcelona in the clash against Real Madrid, which they won 2–0. He got injured on 28 April 2009, in a match against Chelsea in the semi-final. Márquez was told he needed surgery on his left knee, forcing him to miss the rest of the season. Barcelona would go on to win a historic treble after winning the 2008–09 Champions League, though Márquez missed the final through injury.
Prior to the 2009–10 season, Márquez received an offer from Italian side Fiorentina. However, Márquez said he wanted to end his career at Barcelona. Márquez eventually signed a new contract with Barça in November 2009 that would keep him at the club until 2012. On 20 February 2010, he scored his first goal since his return against Racing Santander. On 31 July 2010, Márquez was released from his contract by Barcelona.
He left the club as one of the most successful foreigners ever to play for Barcelona, earning 12 titles during his 7 seasons with the club. He also scored 13 goals in 242 matches, making him the most-capped non-European player in the club's history and the eighth most capped foreigner.
New York Red Bulls
After being released by Barcelona and participating at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, it was reported that Italian club Juventus was strongly linked to the Mexican defender, as a back-up for defender Leonardo Bonucci.
On 2 August 2010, it was announced that Márquez had signed with New York Red Bulls on a 3½ year contract. He was declared as the club's third Designated Player and was unveiled to the media at Red Bull Arena on 3 August wearing his number 4 jersey and being reunited at the club with former FC Barcelona teammate Thierry Henry. On 8 August, Márquez made his MLS début against the Chicago Fire in a scoreless draw. On 21 August Márquez scored his first goal, an astonishing shot with his right foot, for the Red Bulls in a 4–1 win at Toronto FC. On 21 October 2010 Márquez started for Red Bulls in a 2–0 victory over New England Revolution which clinched the regular season Eastern Conference title.
New York released Márquez on 13 December 2012.
Hours after being released by the New York Red Bulls it was announced that Márquez signed with Mexican club León, returning to his home country after thirteen years abroad. It would not be until 5 October 2013 that Márquez scored his first goal for León in the match against Puebla, scoring a penalty kick in the 17th minute.
On 15 December, León captured the Apertura 2013 title after defeating América 5–1 on aggregate. Márquez, the club captain, played both legs as he lifted his first league title in Mexico, more than 14 years after losing the final against Toluca.
Since making his international début on 5 February 1997 against Ecuador, Márquez has been a regular selection of the Mexican national football team though he was not chosen for the 1998 FIFA World Cup squad. Márquez has played various tournaments with the Mexican team, winning the 1999 Confederations Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Márquez started all four of Mexico's games during the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan, where he was given the captain's armband by then coach Javier Aguirre despite his young age of 23. He received a red card during Mexico's second round 2–0 loss to the United States for a deliberate mid-air head butt on Cobi Jones in the final minutes of the match. Márquez was selected by Ricardo La Volpe for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
During the 2006 World Cup, Márquez played in all of three of Mexico's opening round matches, and scored the lone Mexican goal in a 2–1 loss to Argentina in the second round off a Pável Pardo free kick which was headed to the far post by Mario Méndez, allowing an unmarked Márquez to strike the ball into the back of the net. The winner was scored by Maxi Rodríguez in extra time after Hernán Crespo had equalised for Argentina. Since Mexico's second round exit, he has spoken out about the need to encourage future Mexican football players to play in Europe to increase the competitiveness of the team.
Former Mexican coach Hugo Sánchez asked Márquez to participate in the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2007 Copa América. Rafael joined up with the team Mexico for the Gold Cup's championship game against the United States after the conclusion of 2006–07 La Liga; Rafa started the match, a game that Mexico lost 2–1.
Márquez captained the Mexico national football team at the 2010 World Cup. Márquez scored Mexico's first goal against South Africa in the 79th minute against the hosts tying the game one a piece. In Mexico's 2–0 win against France, Márquez assisted Javier Hernández in Mexico's first goal.
- As of 29 January 2014
|France||League||Coupe de France||Europe||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Europe||Total|
|USA||League||Open Cup||League Cup||Total|
|2010||New York Red Bulls||Major League Soccer||10||1||0||0||2||0||12||1|
|Mexico||League||Copa MX||Copa Libertadores||Total|
- As of 5 March 2014
|Mexico national team|
- As of 13 November 2013
- Scores and results list Mexico's goal tally first.
|1.||5 February 1999||Hong Kong Stadium, Wan Chai, Hong Kong||Egypt||1–0||3–0||1999 Carlsberg Cup|
|2.||13 February 2000||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, United States||Trinidad and Tobago||1–0||4–0||2000 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|3.||3 September 2000||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Panama||5–1||7–1||2002 World Cup qualifier|
|4.||12 May 2002||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Colombia||2–1||2–1||Friendly|
|5.||24 July 2003||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Costa Rica||1–0||2–0||2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|6.||19 June 2004||Alamodome, San Antonio, United States||Dominica||3–0||3–0||2006 World Cup qualifier|
|7.||7 September 2005||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||Panama||2–0||5–0||2006 World Cup qualifier|
|8.||24 June 2006||Zentralstadion, Leipzig, Germany||Argentina||1–0||1–2 (a.e.t.)||2006 FIFA World Cup|
|9.||28 March 2007||McAfee Coliseum, Oakland, United States||Ecuador||2–2||4–2||Friendly|
|10.||10 September 2008||Estadio Víctor Manuel Reyna, Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Mexico||Canada||2–0||2–1||2010 World Cup qualifier|
|11.||11 June 2010||Soccer City, Johannesburg, South Africa||South Africa||1–1||1–1||2010 FIFA World Cup|
|12.||12 June 2011||Soldier Field, Chicago, United States||Costa Rica||1–0||4–1||2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup|
|13.||30 October 2013||Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, United States||Finland||1–0||4–2||Friendly|
|14.||13 November 2013||Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico||New Zealand||5–0||5–1||2014 World Cup qualifier|
- La Liga (4): 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10
- Copa del Rey (1): 2008–09
- Supercopa de España (3): 2005, 2006, 2009
- UEFA Champions League (2): 2005–06, 2008–09
- UEFA Super Cup (1): 2009
- FIFA Club World Cup (1): 2009
- New York Red Bulls
- Ligue 1 Best Defender (1): 2001
- Best Player of the CONCACAF (1): 2005
- International Federation of Football History and Statistics Third Most Popular Player in the World (1): 2006
- Free Kick Masters (1): 2008
His father Rafael Márquez Esqueda was also a professional soccer player in Mexico. He was married to Mexican actress Adriana Lavat, the couple married in December 2001 and had 2 children, Santiago Rafael and Rafaela, before separating in 2007. He is married to Jaydy Michel, ex-wife of singer Alejandro Sanz.
- Crawford, Stephen (28 April 2009). "Barcelona Defender Rafael Marquez Out for the Season". Goal.com. Retrieved 27 July 2009. "Barcelona centre-back Rafael Marquez has been ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury in Tuesday night's Champions League clash with Chelsea."
- "Bueno, bonito y barato" [Good, pretty and cheap] (in Spanish). Fox Sports en Español. 14 June 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2009. "Florentina ha mostrado su interés formal en el mexicano Rafael Márquez..." ["Florentina have formally demonstrated their interest in the Mexican Rafael Márquez...]"
- "Marquez nears Barça return". FIFA. FIFA. 26 July 2009. Retrieved 27 July 2009. "It would be my wish to retire at Barca. I'm very calm with regards the contract renewal. I know that we will arrive at an agreement, so it's only a question of time."
- "Marquez signs new Barca deal". Ontheminute.com. 1 December 2009. Retrieved 1 December 2009.
- "Adeu al viute estranger amb mes partits". fcbarcelona.cat. 1 August 2010. Retrieved 11 October 2010.
- Juventus Monitor Barcelona Defender Rafael Marquez - Goal.com
- Defender Rafa Marquez Released by New York Red Bulls | New York Red Bulls
- Terán, Juan Manuel (15 December 2013). "La Fiera logró rugido de Campeón". Medio Tiempo. Retrieved 16 December 2013.
- "León Rugió en el Estadio Azteca y es Campeón de la Liga BBVA Bancomer". ligmx.net. Retrieved 15 December 2013.
- Slevison, Andrew (29 March 2011). "New York Red Bulls’ Marquez triumphs in 100th Mexico cap". TribalFootball.com. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
- Soccernet player statistics
- FMF player statistics
- "Rafael Marquez's Senior National Team Goals".
- Adriana Lavat y Rafa Márquez firman divorcio por separado/
- Jaydy Michel, blaugrana de corazón
- Rafael Márquez y su novia, reafirman su amor,
- Transfermarkt profile
- Soccerway profile
- Official Website (spanish and english)
- Rafael Márquez Liga MX stats at Medio Tiempo.com (Spanish)
- Football Database profile and stats
- ESPN Soccernet profile and stats
- Rafael Márquez at National-Football-Teams.com