The New York Red Bulls today announced the signing of former FC Barcelona star and Mexican National Team captain Rafael Marquez to a multi-year contract as the club’s third Designated Player. Marquez will be unveiled to members of the media at a press conference Tuesday at Red Bull Arena at 1:15 p.m. ET.
"Rafael has shown on the club and international level that he is one of the world’s top players," said Dietmar Beiersdorfer, Head of Red Bull Global Soccer. "He has been a winner at all levels and illustrated that he is a leader both on and off the field. We are thrilled that he decided to come to the Red Bulls at this time in his career."
"I am excited to be joining the Red Bulls," Marquez said. "Coming to New York and playing in Major League Soccer was a chance that I could not refuse. I am committed to doing my very best to help the Red Bulls in their playoff push this year and compete for championships in the years to come."
Marquez’s press conference will be streamed live on www.newyorkredbulls.com.
Internationally, Marquez has appeared for Mexico 94 times, and has captained the team since the 2002 FIFA World Cup. With Mexico, Marquez won the 1999 Confederations Cup and the 2003 Gold Cup, and has led Mexico out of the first round in his three World Cup appearances. In the 2006 World Cup, Marquez netted a goal in Mexico’s second round match against Argentina and in 2010, he scored in the tournament’s opening match in a draw with host, South Africa.
Marquez spent the last seven seasons of his club career at storied Catalan side, FC Barcelona. He was a part of four La Liga winning Barcelona teams (2005, 2006, 2009 and 2010). In 2006, Marquez helped Barcelona win the UEFA Champions League title, appearing eight times in the competition, including in the final, where Barcelona beat Arsenal, 2-1. With the victory, Marquez became the first Mexican player to ever win the UEFA Champions League. He was also a member of Barcelona’s 2008-09 squad that won an unprecedented six championships, as he took home the UEFA Champions League title for the second time of his career.
Prior to joining Barcelona, Marquez played for AS Monaco from 1999-2003, as he became one of the most highly touted young players in world soccer. Marquez helped his club win the Ligue 1 title in his first season and was the Ligue 1 Best Defender in 2000. The 31-year-old started his professional career at Mexican club Atlas, where he debuted in 1996 at just 17 years of age.