Mexico has had a very long list of defenders in the past, including people like Horacio Casarín who has since the 1950s been considered to be the greatest defender the country has ever seen. Now, however, there are many that consider Rafa Marquez as the greatest the country has ever had. The professional footballer has played for the Mexican national team and the Atlas until the end of the 2017/2018 season. Here is all to know about him.
Rafa Marquez Biography and Age
It was on 13 February 1979 that the legendary Mexican defender was born as Rafael Márquez Álvarez in the Mexican city of Zamora de Hidalgo, Michoacán. It was in the country that he was raised by his father Rafael Márquez Esqueda who, not so surprising, was also a professional player and a defender, as well as his mother, Rosa Maria Álvarez.
While not so much is known about his personal life or how he was raised, the star defender began playing football since he was a child, following the influence of his father.
Rafael has grown to be very close to his mother who like the player, has been linked to drug trafficking even though both have always denied it.
The legendary player was first married in 2001 to Mexican actress and TV star, Adriana Lavat. The two got married in 2001, but the marriage couldn’t survive beyond 2007 as it ended rather rapidly in a divorce.
The next time he would get married was in 2011. This time around again, it was to actress and model, Jaydy Michel. Since then, they have been together as an item.
From the two marriages, Rafaela Marquez has 2 children, Rafaela Márquez and Santiago Rafael Márquez who were both birthed to him by his first wife.
Club Football Career
The defender began his football career as a young footballer in 1992 with the Atlas youth team. He got a promotion to the club’s senior team in 1996. In 1999, he left Atlas for Monaco where he would play until 2003 when he moved to Barcelona.
With the Spanish Giant, he got to play centre back which has been his best position. With his help, the club won 4 La Liga titles, 2 UEFA Champions League and Supercopa de España and 1 FIFA Club World Cup and a Copa del Rey.
In 2010, he left Barcelona for America to play for New York Red Bulls. He played in the Major League Soccer until 2013 when he made it back to Mexico to play for Leon and then Hellas Verona in 2014. Having played to the prime of his career, he moved back to Atlas in 2016 where he played until 2018 when he decided that at the age of 39, it was time to retire from club football.
National Football Career
While most players get to start playing for their national teams at lower levels, Rafa Marquez began playing with the senior team in 1997 and in 1999, he got invited to also play for the under-19 team.
Before he got an invitation to play for the country at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, Rafa Marquez had already played 143 games for the team, scoring 19 goals in the process.
During his runs with the Mexican national team, the former Barcelona player has set many records including playing in all the World Cups that the country has been to since the 2002 Korea Japan World Cup.
The interesting thing about his first appearance at the World Cups is that although he was only 23, he was made the captain of the team. During the event in 2006, he was also very significant. just as all others after that.
Having played a major role in the team’s qualification to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, he was called again to represent the country which will make him only the third player in the history of the tournament to play in 5 World Cup events, with Antonio Carbajal and Lothar Matthaeus as the only two players to have reached the milestone in the 1966 and 1998 World Cups respectively.
For his country, Marquez has won a number of titles including the FIFA Confederations Cup, CONCACAF Gold Cup, and CONCACAF Cup.
Height, Weight, and Measurements
One thing that has remained known about the Mexican defender is that age doesn’t seem to rust him as he has always been important in keeping the goal post secure. One of the things that have helped him with that apart from his skills is his body build. As regards his body measurement, he has a height of 5 feet 10 inches (1.82 m) and a body weight of 165 lbs (75 kg).