|Full name||Manuel Rui Marques|
|Date of birth||3 September 1977|
|Place of birth||Luanda, Angola|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|1999–2000||SSV Ulm 1846||32||(0)|
|2001||→ VfB Stuttgart (loan)||12||(0)|
|2006||→ Hull City (loan)||1||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 February 2010.
† Appearances (Goals).
Manuel Rui Marques (born 3 September 1977) is an Angolan football defender and first choice centre-back for the Angolan national side. Although born in Angola, Marques moved to Portugal as a child. Marques is currently unattached after being released by Leeds.
After coming through the youth ranks at Portuguese giants Benfica. Marques left to join Swiss side Baden, following a spell at Baden, he began his professional career at Germany's SSV Ulm 1846 in the 1999–2000 season. He subsequently moved to Hertha BSC in Berlin, Germany's capital. But only managed to play one game for the first team in the league.
Marques then moved to VfB Stuttgart of the German Bundesliga, spending four seasons at the German club where he won the 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup after beating French side Lille. In the 2004–05 season he moved to CS Marítimo of Madeira, Portugal where he played in the Portuguese Premier Division. After struggling to break into the first team, Marques was released after just one season. As a free agent he then began to look for clubs abroad.
Prior to the 2005–06 season, Marques went on trial to Ipswich Town where he impressed the then manager Joe Royle enough to want to sign him permanently, but instead he chose to move to Leeds United in England on a Bosman transfer. He was signed by manager Kevin Blackwell, but Marques made only one appearance for Leeds in the 2005–06 season in the League Cup against Oldham, in which he was clearly very nervous and uncomfortable playing out of position at right-back, Marques did not feature again for Leeds that season with Paul Butler, Sean Gregan, Matthew Kilgallon, Clarke Carlisle and Michael Duberry all ahead of him in the pecking order. Towards the end of 2005–06 he went to Hull City on a short-term loan, which was cut short due to injury. He thus returned to Leeds. He represented Angola in the 2006 World Cup, and was one of two Leeds United players to take part in that Tournament, with Eddie Lewis being the other player (He represented the USA).
The 2006–07 campaign again saw Marques overlooked by manager Kevin Blackwell, and initially again by the new Leeds manager Dennis Wise, who said that Marques would not feature under his leadership and was told he was free to leave the club along with a number of other squad and fringe players. However, Marques did not complain about his isolation from the first team and worked hard to try and prove himself.
Marques' hard-work and persistence was rewarded when he was called up to the first team squad for Leeds United's 2–1 victory against Coventry City on 1 January 2007, where he turned in a very solid performance at centre back. This performance saw Marques being rewarded with a long run in the starting lineup at Elland Road. Marques after such a long time out in the cold for Leeds became on of the first names on the team sheet. With questions about extending his contract Marques stated that he would prefer to concentrate on Leeds' relegation battle than signing a new deal. He was an instant hit with the fans. Despite putting in some impressive performances, they were not enough to save Leeds who were relegated to League One for the first time in their history, but Marques showed his commitment to the club once again and signed a new deal on 7 August 2007. Marques was a regular starter in the first team and scored his first goal for Leeds on 18 August 2007 in the 4–1 drubbing of Southend United in the dying minutes of the match. Marques missed several matches in January 2008, linking up with Angola for the African Cup Of Nations.
On his return, Marques established himself as fourth-choice captain at Leeds, taking up the armband for most of March 2008 whilst Alan Thompson, Jonathan Douglas and Andy Hughes were out injured. Marques picked up an injury and was replaced by Paul Huntington in Leeds' starting line-up. Due to Huntington's fantastic form, Marques was kept out of the side for the rest of the season, only being limited to occasional substitute appearances.
Before he left the club, manager Dennis Wise stated he would offer Marques a new contract, Wise even said Marques should wait longer before signing the deal to help get a wage increase. Upon his arrival, new manager Gary McAllister offered Marques a new contract but talks stalled with the length of the contract appearing to be the deciding factor in Marques' decision. Talks were delayed until the summer and Leeds reached the League 1 playoff final but lost 1–0 against Doncaster Rovers. During the summer, Marques was linked to a move to the Premiership with him interesting Roy Keane's Sunderland. However, on 20 May 2008 he signed a new contract with Leeds United, contracting him to the club for a further two seasons. At the start of the 2008–09 season, Marques who was fluent in Spanish also acted as a translator for new Argentine signing Luciano Becchio. After a poor start to the 2008–09 season with Leeds' defence leaking a lot of goals, McAllister was sacked and was replaced by Simon Grayson. He scored in Leeds United's 2–0 win against Southend on 28 January 2009. Marques played regularly under Grayson, and began partnering new signing Richard Naylor, but when Sam Sodje was signed on loan Marques lost his place when he suffered an hamstring injury. Leeds reached the playoff semi finals but lost out to Millwall.
With Sam Sodje's loan spell over and captain Richard Naylor injured, Marques found himself as first choice central defence partnership with Patrick Kisnorbo at the start of the 2009–10 season, He lost his starting place when Marques suffered an achilles injury whilst on international duty in September, and dropped down the pecking order when he was out injured when Leeds completed the signing of Leigh Bromby. Marques' injury kept him out for a prolonged period lasting over several games. After featuring in some reserve games and behind closed doors friendlies, Marques returned from injury and was named on the bench against Kettering Town. After his spell out injured he was behind Patrick Kisnorbo, Richard Naylor, Leigh Bromby and Lubomir Michalik in the pecking order for Leeds. Marques was named on the bench against Oldham Athletic and kept his place on the bench against Huddersfield Town. When Naylor and Kisnorbo were both fit they returned to the starting 11, with Lubo Michalik dropping to the bench at Marques' expense.
Marques was unavailable for selection for Leeds during most of January 2010 as he was called up to host nation Angola's African Cup Of Nations squad. The most high profile games he was unavailable for was Leeds' FA Cup tie away to Manchester United and the away FA Cup tie to Tottenham Hotspur. Angola were knocked out of the African Cup of Nations on 24 January 2010, so Marques returned to Leeds. Marques picked up a small injury at the African Cup Of Nations which when he returned to Leeds kept him on the sidelines for a number of Leeds' games. Then when he recovered, he never had a chance to play, even when the club was struggling to win a game for the last part of the season.
It was announced on 14 May 2010 that he would not be offered a new deal at the club and that he was free to find a new club.At the time of leaving Marques was the longest serving player at the club.
Despite being eligible for the Portuguese national side, Marques pledged his allegiance to the country of his birth, Angola. Marques played for Angola in the 2006 World Cup, Where he played against Mexico, Iran and against the country he was brought up in Portugal with Angola finishing third in their group. He also played in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations, in which he played in all of Angola's games.
Marques was called up by Angola for the 2010 African Cup of Nations, where his country Angola were the host nation of the tournament, during this spell he was unavailable to play for Leeds. On 30 December 2009, Marques played in the 1–0 loss to Estonia, which was a friendly match as a warm up for the Cup of Nations. Then he played in the 1–1 draw against Gambia. Angola's first game of the African Cup Of Nations was against Mali. Marques started the match against Mali, Angola were 4–0 up with 15 minutes to go, but conceded 4 in the last 15 minutes and it finished 4–4 with the likes of Seydou Keita and Frederic Kanoute getting on the score sheet for Mali. Marques played the whole game for Angola in their 2–0 win over Malawi and featured as a starter in the 0–0 draw with Algeria, a game which enabled Angola to progress to the quarter-finals as winners of their group.
Marques' tournament came to an end when Angola were knocked out in the quarter finals after losing 1–0 against Ghana with Asamoah Gyan scoring the winner. Rui Marques returned to Leeds from the African Cup of Nations with an injury. As a result Leeds brought in additional centre-back cover in the form of Neill Collins, with Marques not even making the bench when he returned from injury. Rui Marques was released in May 2010 following the end of his contract.
- James Pearson (29 July 2007). "Leeds land Marques". Sky Sports. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- James Pearson (23 March 2007). "Tigers land Leeds stopper". Sky Sports. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- Phil Hay (23 November 2007). "Wise considers transfer option". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- James Pearson (17 April 2007). "Marques putting Leeds first". Sky Sports. Retrieved 22 June 2007.
- "Captain Rui". Leeds United. 22 February 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2008.
- "Contract length the key in Rui Marques talks". Yorkshire Evening Post. 10 April 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2008.
- "Leeds United trim squad after promotion". BBC Sport. 14 May 2010. Retrieved 15 May 2010.