After making his professional debut with Atlas in the Liga MX with just 17 years old, Rafael Márquez played three seasons for the Mexican club before starting his remarkable journey in Europe. The former defender had an outstanding career, winning titles that most of the players can only dream of. His achievements and more than 20 years representing the national team made him one of Mexico’s living legends.

Márquez’s performance during the 1999 Copa América caught the attention of Monaco’s officials. He signed for the French club, where he played for four years, and helped the team to win three titles, including one Ligue 1 trophy. During his stint in France, the Mexican proved to be a young but still tough defender. And that’s when Barcelona showed up.

Rafael Márquez holds the Champions League trophy.

The Spanish giant signed Márquez and he quickly became the leader of the back line. He had the best years of his career in Barcelona, where he played for seven seasons and won every possible title. He even clinched two Champions League trophies and one Club World Cup. To make it more special, Márquez had the opportunity to play alongside soccer superstars such as Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi, among others.

After playing more than two years for the New York Red Bulls in the MLS, the Mexican joined Liga MX’s Club León to continue with his successful career by clinching two league titles. His performances took him again to Europe, this time to Italy’s Hellas Verona, becoming the first Mexican to play in five different countries. And, before retiring in 2018, he returned to his beloved Atlas.

His international career is also admirable. Márquez represented the national team in five World Cups, from 2002 to 2018, and won two Gold Cups and one Confederations Cup. He put his name as one of Mexico’s greatest player with his feats and achievements. A true living legend for Mexican soccer!