What has happened to Rafa Marquez the mythical central defender

What has happened to Rafa Márquez, the mythical central defender of the Mexico team?

(CNN Spanish) — If the Mexican soccer team could bring back a player for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, one of the first options would surely be Rafael Márquez, also known as the Kaiser.

Rafa Márquez has been one of the most prolific soccer players in Mexico and, without a doubt, the best defender in the history of all of Mexican soccer.

And it is not for less: at the club level, he established himself as an “important figure of Barcelona” and “iconic Barcelona defender”, winning, among other titles, two Champions League, four times LaLiga and a Copa del Rey between his arrival at Barcelona in July 2003 and until his departure in 2010.

Meanwhile, Márquez is a legend of the Mexico team: he played five FIFA World Cups; he scored three goals in three of the five world cups he played in (and they were consecutive, since he scored in Germany 2006, South Africa 2010 and Brazil 2014); he won a Confederations Cup (1999) and two Gold Cups (2003 and 2011); he occupies the 12th position of the players with the most appearances in World Cups with 19 in total (a place that he shares with soccer players like the Brazilian Ronaldo and the Argentine Lionel Messi, who will surpass that number in Qatar); and added 148 games with the national team, with 17 goals and 6 assists.

Rafa Márquez celebrates his goal against Argentina in the round of 16 of the 2006 World Cup in Germany. (Photo: ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Kaiser made his professional soccer debut in 1996 with Atlas de México, a team with which he ended up retiring in 2018. Since then, what has happened to the legendary Mexican central defender?

What has become of Rafa Márquez since his retirement in 2018?

According to the specialized site Transfermarkt, Márquez got a position as manager a month after retiring.

His retirement took place on July 3, 2018. After more than a month, specifically on August 5 of the same year, Rafa Márquez became sports director of Atlas. He held this position until June 30, 2019.

“Then he began working as a coach in the lower categories of the Real Sociedad Deportiva Alcalá, a team from Alcalá de Henares, in the Community of Madrid,” mentions Márquez’s biography on the Barcelona website.

There, the Kaiser began on September 1, 2020 and continued until March 25, 2021.

It took more than a year for an opportunity to come from the house in which he shone the most. On July 14 of this year, Márquez began his new challenge as the coach at the helm of Barça Atlètic (or Barcelona B), which is Barcelona’s subsidiary team.

Since then, Márquez has coached seven games for Barça Atlètic in the Primera Federación RFEF, which is Spain’s third division league.

Of those seven games, Rafa Márquez’s pupils have won three, drawn two and lost two, adding 11 points to sit in fifth place in Group 2 of the First Federation.