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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Once upon a time…Real Madrid wanted Rafa Márquez

Por Feco

The famous Mexican football player, Rafa Márquez, told ESPN about when he was of interest to Real Madrid, and finally ended being hired by Fútbol Club Barcelona. A move that was not possible because of Ronaldo. He also mentioned his darkest moment at Major League Soccer and how he managed to love football again and feel useful.

In 2002, after Rafael Márquez played his first World Cup with the Mexican National Team, he was very close to becoming a Real Madrid player, a club that followed him and progressed in negotiations, which stopped when the club spent a large part of his budget in the purchase of Ronaldo, forward from Inter Milan. That situation caused Rafa to stay at the Monaco and then be signed by Barcelona, a club where he was seven years and was a multi-champion in both, League and Champions League.

“The ‘ifs’ do not exist. Things happen for a reason. The negotiation was advanced, I was excited and happy, but it was when Ronaldo was hired, and the negotiation broke down. I spent two more years in Monaco until an offer came from Barcelona. Maybe it was not the right time to leave Monaco, but... I feel fortunate that once Real Madrid put its eyes on me and was interested, but in the end, who would have thought that the rival of this team was going to hire me”, shared Márquez in an interview with ESPN.

During his stay at Barcelona, Márquez recalled how difficult it was to stay at the highest level in a team that began its golden age with players like Ronaldinho on the roster and the beginnings of Lionel Messi as a professional footballer. "You’d think seven years are easy, but you suffer a lot, it was a lot of sacrifice. You just have to think that being one of the best teams in the world, they always try to have the best players in the world in each of their positions. It took me six months to adapt to the team, you could not relax one day because your teammates passed you, there was a lot of internal competition".

However, despite that seemingly fierce environment, Márquez confessed that it was very satisfying to have played so long and so many games, “to have won so many championships and to enjoy many figures. Those were the best moments of my professional and personal lives, because Barcelona is charming”, he said.

As of his path with León, the Mexican player said that he resurfaced again, and felt that joy of being able to play football and, in addition, “there was a group of players of great quality, of great human beings”, which helped him perform well again. “Gustavo Matosas gave me a great confidence, he always gave me his support, so I'm very grateful for that, for the fans and the moment I lived there”, Márquez added.