Marquez’s seven seasons
Rafa Márquez’s departure comes after seven seasons at the club, in which the Mexican has won 12 titles and become the eighth leading foreign player in terms of appearances.
It’s been nearly seven years since Marquez made his league debut for the club, on September
3rd 2003 and since then he has picked up every title in the game under both Rijkaard and Guardiola.
In his first season at the club, Marquez figured as a centre half, though injuries
limited his appearances, but in his second season, injuries to Motta and Edmilson meant that he had
to stand in as a defensive midfielder, a role he filled perfectly, with his versatility meaning he
played in 34 of that season’s league games.
Rijkaard was a key cornerstone of Rijkaard’s teams and although 2005-06 was
again marred by injuries, the Mexican was a starter in the Champions League winning team in Paris
that took the double and proved a high point in Marquez’s career at the club.
Injuries plague progress
Injuries again limited Marquez’s influence in 2006/07 and 07/08, when with Toure in the
team, he moved back to the heart of defence where he frequently partnered Milito. Those were two
tough seasons for Barca though, as the team failed to win a single trophy.
Key in treble season
When Rijkaard left and a number of big names such as Deco and Ronaldinho also moved
on, Marquez’s continuity at the club was down to new boss Pep Guardiola, who decided to keep
the Mexican and make him a vital part of his new project. Marquez was unlucky to pick up another
serious injury in the Champions League semi final in April and miss out on the team’s win in
Rome. Marquez’s final season at the club saw him take more of a back seat and he played much
242 games and 13 goals
Marquez played a total of 242 games, making him the eighth leading foreign appearance maker
and scored 13 times – the majority with headers or trademark pile driver free kicks.