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14.12.2009 17:34

Rafa Márquez x 2: namesakes, friends and rivals

Sandra Sarmiento / Roger Bogunyà

Barça v Atlante or Rafa Márquez v Rafa Márquez. This Wednesday two players who share the same name and who have both played for Mexico go head to head.

If you don’t pay close attention to this Wednesday’s semi-final you may get a shock or even celebrate a goal for the other side! That’s what could happen when Rafael Márquez (Barça) takes on Rafael Márquez (Atlante).

Team-mates not rivals

Both are Mexican, Barça’s Rafa is 30 and plays in defence. Atlante’s Rafa is 28 and is a forward. So depending on the managers they could well meet on the pitch. But the very best of this coincidence is that they know each other and have even shared a dressing room with the Mexican squad.

Speaking at the second to last training session before the semi-final, Márquez (Atlante) told Barça TV and www.fcbarcelona.cat: “I get on well with him and we’ve played together but never as rivals”.

Praise for the ‘Kaiser’

“He’s the best player in Mexico. He’s played for Barça longer than any of the current foreigners. I’ve been there twice and I saw that people love him”. As coincidence would have it, the girlfriend of the Atlante Rafa studies in Barcelona.

Not in México

The two players have never coincided in Mexico. The Atlante Rafa told us: “When I arrived (at Pumas, his first team in 2000) he was already playing for Monaco. It’ll be nice to play him”.
Rafa Márquez x 2: namesakes, friends and rivals
They won’t alter their game
The Atlante Rafa Márquez told us his team would try and stick to their own style: “FC Barcelona is the best team in the world at the moment. We will try and play our game, try and play good football and make our own luck. It would be a mistake to try and change”.

He can only find one (rather improbable) weakness in the Barça team – an excess of confidence: “Confidence could be their worst enemy, but it’s the only trophy they haven’t got and I don’t think they’ll have that mentality”.

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