Rafael Márquez Álvarez (Spanish: [rafaˈel ˈmarkes]; born 13 February 1979) is a Mexican footballer who plays for and captains both Mexican club Atlas and the Mexico national team. He can play as a central defender, sweeper, or defensive midfielder. He is widely regarded as the best defender in Mexico's history and one of the best Mexican players of all time. Márquez has been described as elegant on the ball, dependable in the air and skillful coming out of defense. Although considered one of the best Mexican footballers of all time, Márquez is also seen as a controversial figure in the Mexican media for certain questionable decisions he has made on the field.
Márquez began his career with Atlas in 1996, playing in over 70 games with the club before moving to France in 1999 with Monaco, where he won the Ligue 1 title. In 2003, Márquez transferred to Barcelona, becoming the first ever Mexican to play for the club for seven years. He would go on to play in over 200 games and win numerous championships. In 2006, he became the first Mexican player to win the UEFA Champions League when Barcelona defeated Arsenal in the final. In 2010 Márquez joined the New York Red Bulls of Major League Soccer. After being released from the club in 2012, he moved back to Mexico, this time to play for Club León. After captaining the team to two back-to-back league titles in 2013 and 2014, Márquez transferred to Hellas Verona of the Italian Serie A.
In 2014, Márquez became the first player to captain his national team in four consecutive editions of the FIFA World Cup, captaining the Mexico national team in the 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 editions of the tournament. Márquez is the Mexican player with the most World Cup matches played with 16.Close