The FC Barcelona y Rafael Marquez have reached an agreement for his incorporation as coach of Barça Atlètic in the next two seasons, until June 30, 2024.
In this way, the Mexican will experience his second stage at the Club, after having been a first-team player for seven seasons, from 2003 to 2010. Márquez’s new stage as Barça Atlètic coach will start this Friday, July 15, with the medical tests, and on Saturday the 16th he will direct the first training session of the preseason.
The Aztec returns to FC Barcelona after his time as a footballer for the Barça first team. In the 2003/04 season he landed at the Camp Nou from AS Monaco. A special arrival, since he became the first Mexican player to wear the Barcelona shirt. He will also be the first Mexican to manage Barça Atlètic.
His first technician in the Les Corts neighborhood was Frank Rijkaard. Gradually, the captain of the Mexican team acquired the confidence of the Dutchman in the axis of defense and became one of the fixtures of the culé eleven.
At midnight on September 3, 2003, Rafa Márquez made his debut as a Barça player; and he did it from the starting lineup. It was at the Camp Nou with some 80,000 people in the stands and on the second day of the League against Sevilla (1-1). It was the first meeting of the 22 of his first year as a Barcelona player. A first year in which he was one of the keys to getting a place in the Champions League.
In the 2004/05 season, the central defender demonstrated his versatility. Injuries to Edmílson and Motta forced him to advance his position and play center midfield. With number 4 on his back, he had an excellent performance, which was enhanced by winning the league title. The following year, and forming an insurmountable pair of central defenders with Puyol, he enlarged his track record with Barça with a new League and with the Champions League in Paris.
After some brilliant early years, injuries reduced the defender’s performance in the 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons. But they did not prevent him from continuing to be a pledge of guarantees in the axis of defense. The titles and the smile of the Mexican. With Pep Guardiola on the culé bench, Rafa Márquez added more appearances and more titles with FC Barcelona. The triplet of the 2008/09 season and, later, the sextet signed in 2009/10, where he also lifted the League, closed Márquez’s first step at Barça, where he scored 242 games and scored 13 goals.