How to stay current for two decades? The answer is clear in the comments of the own Raphael Marquez: He knew how to reinvent himself before the evolution of football. He went through different cycles in the Mexican National Team and in all of them he was one of the main players for more than 10 coaches who had him under his command, he even led as captain in almost 100 games with the Mexico jersey.
Talking about the former defender is describing one of the most successful players in the history of Mexican soccer. His record includes more than 20 titles, the majority in Europe and as a fundamental piece in teams like Monaco Y Barcelonadefended the colors of the Tricolor in more than 140 games to become the national player with the most matches played in the World Cup: 19.
With such a long journey in professional soccer, Rafa Márquez was a leader on the field, with the captain’s badge, an authoritative voice to narrate how time passed in the Tricolor heartland.
“I went through different processes, coaches and generations of footballers, they were all different. The first times (when he was captain) I felt that the responsibility was divided among several players, however later that responsibility became greater on and off the field with the group. I always tried to do my best and always be the first example for everyone of being that leader.”
Soccer is constantly changing and Rafael Márquez experienced an evolution as a central defender. The qualities that were sought in that position before in a team are now very different.
“Everything (in soccer) is evolving a lot, since I started (my career) until I retired, it changed in a certain way. Perhaps he changed more physically and not so much technically, I mean (you have to be) faster, think and make decisions more quickly, that makes it more complex (playing as a central defender). The profile of a central defender has changed, now they are looking for them to have the qualities to get the ball out from behind, to have a good footing to play, that is one of the most important things I saw in the change in defense when passing of the years”.
The ideal defense prototype is now different and a large part of the metamorphosis in soccer is thanks to the use of technology in order to improve the performance of the teams. This did not go unnoticed by the Atlas youth squad, as he pointed out that it was already in the twilight of his career when data analysis became more relevant. He even mentioned that data analysis is important to him now in his role as technical director of Barcelona Athletic.
“Before, there was no record of the efforts that the players made and as soon as the technology began to be used, this (the way of seeing the game) changed. The GPS, which is mainly used by the physical trainers, helps them to better measure the performance of the players in each game, this helps the coaches to see how far they can physically demand the players. On the subject of match analysis, both for your team and the rival, there are now various platforms where you can see a lot of information and various data. This, both as a player and as a coach, helps to identify your style of play and performance, to know which elements are most decisive. The purpose of knowing this is to make you a more complete footballer”.
Already with a different vision of football, first having the role of manager and now from the technical direction of a club, Rafa Márquez spoke about the work he has done Gerardo Martino in charge of the Mexican National Team. On the other hand, he also puts himself in the position of a fan of the Tricolor and from there, he considers that the team has confidence and hope that he will not only reach the fifth game, but that he can transcend more.
“I think so (he did a good job) because he already qualified for the World Cup and that is the first objective (of Mexico). At some point (the players) showed great performance and that is why Tata Martino continues to be in the position as technical director Now that I have to be on this side as a fan I will be supporting them 100 percent, I am very positive in thinking that the National Team is going to make history because they have a good coaching staff, a great coach and a good group of players. We can trust that they can play a great role and make history, not just by reaching a fifth game, why not think about a final?”
Currently the Mexican achieved what very few and is to start his career as a coach in one of the best teams of the last decade and in all of Spanish football. Rafael Márquez directs one of Barcelona’s subsidiaries and assured that it was always his goal before trying his luck in Mexican soccer.
“I’m just starting this process (of being a technical director) and I want to have more experience, have guarantees and then accept a slightly bigger project. Everything starts from the bottom and not because you’ve played as a professional for so long you’re going to be an expert In being a coach, things are not like that. You have to prepare well, go calmly and step by step, then if the opportunities come to be able to go to Mexico to train, I will analyze them but my idea is to be able to make my career in Europe.” .
In the end, the now coach confessed that his goals are to direct both the Mexican National Team and the Barcelona first team, something he achieved in his facet as a professional footballer.
“Just as a player one day I dreamed of being with Mexico or in a great team, as a coach it is practically the same. I will have to go through certain processes, go up step by step to be able to reach those important positions, and time will tell later”.
His past as a national team also earned him the ability to work with companies off the pitch. In this case, the Shine Entertainment Media agency, headed by Darío Brignole, is in charge of their commercial relations.
“In the end, soccer moves a lot at a commercial level. Being a figure opens the opportunity for large companies or brands to look at you to be able to participate in their promotions, I have always taken care of that part of being able to associate with companies to support them ”.