The most celebrated Mexican footballer of his generation, and an international for over a decade, Rafael Márquez has enjoyed sustained success at FC Barcelona since arriving in 2003. He is an elegant centre-back with impressive aerial technique and good distribution skills who can also operate as a holding midfielder.
• Left Mexico for Europe aged 20 after three years with FC Atlas and success on home soil with Mexican national team at 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup.
• Confirmed potential with AS Monaco FC, winning French league title in first season; remained in the Principality for another three campaigns and starred internationally at 2002 FIFA World Cup (despite red card against the United States) and 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup, which Mexico won.
• Joined Barcelona in summer 2003; made dynamic contribution to back-to-back league titles in 2005 and 2006 and snuffed out Thierry Henry in 2006 UEFA Champions League final against Arsenal FC as Barça completed the double in Paris.
• Carried excellent form into 2006 World Cup, where he was Mexico's captain and one of the tournament's outstanding defenders; equally prominent at following year's Copa América, where Mexico finished third.
• Celebrated 200th game for Barça with 2-0 home win against Real Madrid CF in December 2008; longest-serving foreigner (homegrown Lionel Messi aside) in treble-winning team, though missed both Copa del Rey and UEFA Champions League finals through injury.
Did you know?
Márquez became, in 2006, the first Mexican to win the UEFA Champions League.