Rafael Marquez is a well-know footballer in Mexico, who has a lot of fans and be regarded as a nation hero. Mang people think that he is Mexico’s best defender and maybe the most talented footballer in the history of Mexico football.
He debuted with Liga MX club Atlas when he was just 17 years old. His toughness and hunger secured him a spot with the national team in 1997, and his performance with El Tri took him all the way to Europe.
During his time with Barcelona, Marquez won it all. He also used his experience to lead El Tri in some of the most important competitions in the world.
Marquez is still in shape and proving his worth on the pitch. No wonder why Serie A side Verona acquired his services after the 2014 World Cup.
On his 36th birthday, here are 15 great moments in the Mexico legend’s career.
Rafael Marquez spent three years with Atlas before leaving to Europe. His performance with the Mexican club wasn’t the main reason why he left the country.
Actually, the center back caught the attention of Monaco during the 1999 Copa America.
The Red and Whites’ scouts traveled to Paraguay to see Pablo Contreras. However, they were dazzled with the Mexican, who joined the club in 1999 (Monaco signed both players).
Marquez made his debut on August 14, 1999, against Bastia.
He won the Ligue 1 title in his debut season, the Champions’ Trophy (2000) and French League Cup (2002-2003) in his four-year stint with the club.
In 1999, Mexico hosted the Confederations Cup, becoming the first country other than Saudi Arabia to organize the competition.
Rafael Marquez, who had already signed with Monaco but hadn’t made his debut, was an undisputed starter in Manuel Lapuente’s XI.
Showing his skills in the defensive line, Marquez stopped some of the most lethal strikers of the time, such as Ronaldinho and Alex, and helped El Tri secure the title.
It was the first time the national team hoisted a FIFA trophy, and they did it with one of the most brilliant generations, which included Luis Hernandez, Cuauhtemoc Blanco, Ramon Ramirez, Pavel Pardo, Claudio Suarez, to name a few.
At age 35, Marquez was the only member of the squad that represented Mexico in the 2014 World Cup that secured a contract overseas during the summer transfer window.