FC Barcelona have signed Mexico captain Rafael Márquez from AS Monaco FC.
The 24-year-old defender is reported to have cost the Catalan club a fee in the region of €5m. Márquez passed a medical last night and was unveiled by Barça this morning, having signed a four-year contract. "Everything went well," said a club official. "He is in very good physical condition."
"I will be doing everything I can to help the club win trophies," Marquez said during his presentation to the media. "I hope that my arrival will be the start of a successful period for the club." Barcelona director Txiki Begiristain added that Marquez was "a class defender which suits Barça´s project".
Reunited with Christanval
The move will reunite Márquez with former Monaco team-mate Philippe Christanval, with whom he won the French league title in 1999/00. It is expected that Márquez will replace Frank De Boer, who has been released.
Márquez, who helped Monaco to a League Cup success in France last season while playing in a central midfield role, will be the first Mexican to play for Barcelona. He made his debut for his country aged 17, and represented the national side at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Quaresma deal imminent
Márquez rose to prominence in his homeland with CD Guadalajara prior to a €6m switch to Monaco in 1999. Barça have already bought Turkey goalkeeper Rüstü Reçber this summer and expect to complete the signing of Sporting Clube de Portugal's Ricardo Quaresma later today in a deal which will send Fabio Rochemback in the opposite direction on loan.
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