Rafa Márquez leaves Barça

The Kaiser of Michoacan, Rafael Márquez Álvarez, made his debut for Barça on September 3, 2003 against Sevilla and, 242 official appearances later, he has come to an agreement with the club to rescind his contract. Rafa has always been a team player for us, has always played wherever we needed him to, and has made little to no noise behind the scenes, but the arrival of Piqué and the resurgence of Milito have pushed him towards the back of the center back queue. That’s not a position Márquez feels comfortable in–he’s the captain of his national team, after all–and with several canterano centerbacks vying for a place in the first team, it makes sense for Rafa to move on and, hopefully, find a team where he can be a star.

There’s no reason I need to stop seeing him play just because he’s leaving the blaugrana, though, right? Yaya, you should have moved to Red Bulls too!

Take care, Rafa, and many thanks for your  7 years of service in blaugrana. Your leadership (and looks!) will be missed.

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Isaiah is a co-founder and lead writer for Barcelona Football Blog. He currently lives in Germany with his wife and daughter.


  1. Eklavya
    July 31, 2010

    Knew it was coming…

    Thanks for eveything Rafa, good bye!

  2. gv
    July 31, 2010

    i’ll miss his freekicks too!

    goodluck to the kaiser and thank you!

  3. Bruno
    July 31, 2010

    Rafa, gracias por todo. Visca el Kaiser de Michoacan.

  4. Vj
    July 31, 2010

    There goes a CB and a DM.. I’m all for youth, but given the amount of matches in our season, we really need some experience in these areas.. I hope the top brass forget about Cesc and sign some cover.. Or maybe they are working.. Who knows?

    Farewell Kaiser, and thanks for the memories..

  5. SoccerMom
    July 31, 2010

    Red rover red rover let RAFA come over!
    Yea, I’m really psyched and might even watch an MLS game this season.
    One of my favorite students of all time wore a Márquez Barça jersey to class almost every Friday. It took me another couple of weeks to notice that he wore the Tri captain’s jersey every *other* Friday.
    He never said anything in class. Not a word. And I never bugged him about it. It was a requirement course. Not everyone’s cuppa.
    But still, it made me happy.

  6. lovelymofo
    July 31, 2010

    Aww, lovely Rafa. Its okay, I can go see him play when the Red Bulls play against the Galaxy and Chivas USA. I’m glad he was part of Barça when he was and hope he can get more people interested in the MLS.

  7. Eklavya
    July 31, 2010

    Marquez was the last one of the Rijkaard’s right?

    BTW, the squad travelling to Asia is out:

    Pinto, Miño, Oier, Ilie, Sergi Gómez, Milito, Maxwell, Riverola, Jonathan dos Santos, Víctor Sánchez, Jonathan Soriano, Adriano, Armando, Dalmau, Benja, Ibrahimovic, Edu Oriol, Keita, Muniesa, Nolito, Sergi Roberto, Víctor Vázquez, Fontàs, Abidal, Alves, Messi, Hleb and Tello.

    Bold are players who weren’t there in Norway.

    Bojan and Jeffren won’t be coming because they have been selected for the U-21 squad!

  8. Eklavya
    July 31, 2010

    PS, the thumbs up and thumbs down have gone or is it just my comp. ?

    • gv
      July 31, 2010

      i think they are gone eklavya. haven’t seen them for a while now.

      • Alex
        July 31, 2010

        Thank god. Those thumbs would reak havoc on my browser bringing it to a crawl.

        • Eklavya
          July 31, 2010

          Yeah, I used to scroll down, then my browser used to automatically scroll back up to accommodate the avatars and the “thumbs”. Thank god they’re gone!

          • DontPanic
            July 31, 2010

            So that was a site problem? I thought my Opera was just being a bitch. Glad thumbs are gone.

  9. aULD sUPER
    July 31, 2010

    They’re gone Elkavya it seems which is good because i used to be hammered. Anyway yes Marquez had his uses over the years but the last 2 seasons he has been a liability and god knows why he was given a new contract last year probably Txiki and Traffic done some kind of deal or something, the usual.

    • mei
      July 31, 2010

      if you want to talk about frequency and success , youd better put down the whole list of players that txiki signed and managed. Then question yourself what was their status at the time and how crucial was their contribution during the most successful era of our history.

      • aULD sUPER
        July 31, 2010

        Are you telling me you saw no extremely dodgy deals between those two, come on man. And since you know so much about them why don’t you list them for me and save me the bother. Cheers buddy.

        • mei
          July 31, 2010

          i dont need to list them.Ramzi has done this already , and has explained it pretty well to.
          Im just kinda irked when people jump to criticism and undermining someone’s work, even if the results are there and cant lie to us.7 years of immense success , with txiki handling the transfers yet “he was crap, were glad he’s gone.
          It happens to everybody that’s not in the spotlight or his role cannot be understood easily.Like busquets.
          We had to see tons of graphs and tables full of stats to say , well that guy has really something going.
          Txiki cant even be measured like this since rarely stats and the way a transfer is handled internally goes out in public.
          Just ask yourself this question : was our squad full enough during his era? did he sign players that played a very big part in our successes? What did happen prior to him filling that spot? Thats all, cheers!

          • andrew
            July 31, 2010

            i know that i am not the only one who thought “oh shit, he brought marquez on? we are going to ship a couple of goals here…”

            only in the last season or so though.

  10. theMaginator
    July 31, 2010


    I’ll miss you. You were great no matter what others say.

  11. Luna
    July 31, 2010

    Que triste que te vas. BUt hopefully I’ll get to see you and Thierry! YOu were great!

  12. Jnice
    July 31, 2010

    I’m getting ready to watch The Yaya vs Inter Milan in Baltimore. I hope he scores a hat-trick. Too bad Viera has his number 24 and he has to wear the 42.

  13. jnelson
    July 31, 2010

    Adios Kaiser. Gracias por todo. 7 illustrious and interesting years.

  14. Miguel
    August 1, 2010


    atleast we still have pep & his dashing good looks.

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