Barcelona Confirm Return of Club Legend on 2-Year Deal

Barcelona

Getty Rafa Marquez has returned to Barcelona.

Rafa Marquez enjoyed a stellar playing career during his seven years at Barcelona and has now returned to the Catalan giants for a second stint as manager of the club’s reserve team.

Barcelona confirmed the news on Thursday, July 14 on the club’s official website.

“FC Barcelona and Rafa Márquez have reached an agreement for the latter to become coach of Barça Atlètic for the next two seasons through to 30 June 2024,” read a statement. “This will mark the Mexican’s return to the club he played for from 2003 to 2010. He starts work on Friday 15 July with the players due back for medicals, while the first training session will be held the day after.”

Marquez will take over as coach of Barcelona B, which will be known as Barca Atletic from the start of next season, replacing Sergi Barjuan at the helm and working with some of the club’s most promising youngsters.

The Mexican will need to work closely with former team-mate and first-team coach Xavi when it comes to identifying and developing players who may be in line for promotion to the senior squad.

Barcelona are well-known for producing talented young players from the club’s famous La Masia academy. First-team regulars Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquests, Gavi, Ansu Fati, and Nico Gonzalez have all come through the ranks at the Camp Nou.

Marquez was a key player for Barcelona, and the first Mexican ever to play for the side. The defender won the Champions League twice, the Copa del Rey, and four La Liga titles as a player at the Camp Nou.

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All Eyes On Pablo Torre

One player who the club will be particularly interested in next season is 19-year-old midfielder Pablo Torre. The midfielder has been signed for Barca Atletic but it’s expected he will get first-team chances in the 2022-23 campaign.

Torre started Barca’s first pre-season friendly against Olot on Wednesday, July 13 and impressed in the early stages with a lovely nutmeg and a through-ball to striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The teenager spoke about his debut after the match, as reported by Marca. He said after the final whistle, “We wanted to win, but we lacked rhythm, which is logical because we haven’t had much practice yet. We still have a lot of pre-season left to improve.”


Xavi Talks Torre Talent

Coach Xavi also shared his thoughts after the match and had some praise for Torre and new signing Franck Kessie. The Barcelona boss spoke about the importance of the new arrivals settling in swiftly at his team, as reported by Diario Sport.

“Although we have only been training for a week, they are adapting very well to the team. Physically, Kessie is a very strong player who can get to the back line and cross. Pablo is very talented and can play more between the lines,” he said. “He made a play in the first half in which he ended up making a very good pass. It is important that they start to get to know our idea of the game.”

Torre has already been likened to new teammate Pedri and looks to be another shrewd acquisition. The midfielder cost just 5 million plus variables when he signed for the club from Racing.

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