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02.08.2008 18:14

Márquez and Guardiola have experience

David Saura (enviat especial)

Rafa Márquez and Pep Guardiola both know the style of Mexican football well having experienced the game in the country first-hand and will not doubt use that to advise the Barça players ahead of the match against Chivas this weekend.

The Blaugrana's first opponents on their tour of the United States are the Guadalajara-based outfit, who have one their national championships on no less than eleven occasions, and have one main rule. Only Mexican players can represent that club.

A fan of the Mexican game

pep_mexic.jpgGuardiola played for Dorados from Sinaloa in 2006 and clearly enjoyed his spell there. "I had a very good impression of Mexican football before going there," he said. "They are very dynamic and like to pass the ball. I think that this due largely to the influence of Lavolpe. I have great memories from my time there and I was treated very well. I am a big fan of Mexican football."

Local rivals

Márquez is one of Mexico's most famous football exports and is the current captain of the national team. After spending three seasons with Atlas from Guadalajara, between 1996 and 1999, the Barça defender will now face his former team's rivals. "It is a bit like the situation with Barcelona and Espanyol," he explained. "They are special game and nobody wants to lose."

Special reunion

jam_image_73566.jpgLooking ahead to the game this Sunday in Soldier Field, Chicago, Márquez will meet up again with Efraín Flores, the coach of Chivas and the man that gave him his debut in the Mexican League when he was just 17. "It will be special,” he said. "Chivas have many young players now. They are a physically strong team who run for the entire 90 minutes. It will be difficult also because they have been back playing for a while now."

International colleagues

As well as meeting up with Flores again, Márquez will also be up against several of his team-mates at international level. In Sven-Gorän Eriksson's last squad, no less than six players from the Guadalajara outfit were included, including Jonny Magallón, Gonzalo Pineda Reyes, Omar Esparza, Ramón Morales, Alberto Medina and Omar Arellano.

Márquez and Guardiola have experience
Ten games for Pep

Pep Guardiola went to Mexico to play in January 2006 afte six months without playing and having only just recovered from a knee injury. Under coach Juanma Lillo, the current Real Sociedad boss, he played ten matches with Dorados in the Torneo Clausura. After that experience, Guardiola was out of the game for a year before taking over as coach of Barcelona B last summer.

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