Previous
SC Freiburg
Hertha Berlin
2
2
FT
Game Details
Elche
Eibar
0
2
FT
Game Details
Bordeaux
Evian Thonon Gaillard
2
1
FT
Game Details
Real Salt Lake
Colorado Rapids
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
Santos
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
FC Arsenal Tula
Mordovia Saransk
0
1
FT
Game Details
Elche
Eibar
0
2
FT
Game Details
SC Freiburg
Hertha Berlin
2
2
FT
Game Details
Bordeaux
Evian Thonon Gaillard
2
1
FT
Game Details
Partick Thistle
St Mirren
1
2
FT
Game Details
Carpi
Trapani
2
2
FT
Game Details
Spezia
Virtus Entella
1
0
FT
Game Details
FC Erzgebirge Aue
St Pauli
3
0
FT
Game Details
TSV Eintracht Braunschweig
SV Darmstadt 98
2
0
FT
Game Details
VfR Aalen
SV Sandhausen
0
1
FT
Game Details
AJ Auxerre
AC Ajaccio
1
1
FT
Game Details
Ajaccio GFCO
Dijon FCO
2
0
FT
Game Details
Brest
Arles
1
0
FT
Game Details
Chateauroux
AS Nancy Lorraine
2
5
FT
Game Details
Créteil
Clermont Foot
2
2
FT
Game Details
Niort
Valenciennes
3
0
FT
Game Details
Sochaux
Nimes
2
0
FT
Game Details
Stade Laval
Angers
3
2
FT
Game Details
Tours
Orléans
4
3
FT
Game Details
Willem II Tilburg
NAC Breda
2
1
FT
Game Details
Achilles '29
FC Oss
2
2
FT
Game Details
FC Den Bosch
Helmond Sport
3
0
FT
Game Details
Fortuna Sittard
FC Eindhoven
0
2
FT
Game Details
Jong PSV
Sparta Rotterdam
0
2
FT
Game Details
MVV Maastricht
De Graafschap
0
1
FT
Game Details
SC Stormvogels Telstar
Jong FC Twente
1
1
FT
Game Details
VVV Venlo
Almere City
3
2
FT
Game Details
Guimaraes
Paços de Ferreira
1
1
FT
Game Details
FC Arsenal Tula
Mordovia Saransk
0
1
FT
Game Details
Eskisehirspor K
Genclerbirligi
0
2
FT
Game Details
Royal Charleroi SC
Zulte-Waregem
2
1
FT
Game Details
Randers FC
Silkeborg IF
1
0
FT
Game Details
IFK
Gefle IF
4
0
FT
Game Details
SK Brann
Sandnes Ulf
1
1
FT
Game Details
Athlone Town FC
Bohemians
0
0
FT
Game Details
Bray
St Patricks
2
4
FT
Game Details
Dundalk
Derry City
6:45 PM GMT
Game Details
Real Salt Lake
Colorado Rapids
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Morelia
UNAM
ESPNDeportes 2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Tijuana
Santos
2:30 AM GMT
Game Details
Quilmes
Lanús
11:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Colón de Santa Fe
San Martín de San Juan
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlante
Mineros de Zacatecas
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Coras Tepic
Dorados de Sinaloa
1:30 AM GMT
Game Details
América RN
Portuguesa de Desportos
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Joinville
Goianiense
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Ceará
Avaí
12:50 AM GMT
Game Details
General Díaz
Guaraní
11:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nagoya Grampus Eight
Vantforet Kofu
6:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Atlético Nacional
Deportivo Cali
12:45 AM GMT
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Next

Marshall: Five Mexico issues

Mexico 7 days ago
Read

Mexico vs. Bolivia: Player ratings

Mexico Sep 9, 2014
Read

Marshall: Next challenges

Mexico Sep 4, 2014
Read

Canales: Mexico embark on new era

Mexico Sep 3, 2014
Read
Aug 7, 2014

Rafa Márquez: Architect of his utopias

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol reacts to the news of Rafael Marquez's transfer to Hellas Verona.

LOS ANGELES -- Almost a year ago, with the pose and words of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, he paraphrased: "I shall return [to the Mexican national team]." And everyone, or almost everyone, smiled scornfully when they heard Rafa Márquez.

On Monday, beyond just returning to the national team, he returned to Europe, the Italian League, to Verona.

Let's recap. Errors when marking up, being in the wrong place and sluggishness marked his first year with León. He himself condemned his gypsy move to the MLS: "Going there was my worst decision."

- Marshall: Power rankings: America stays perfect
- Canales: Liga MX Week three Best XI
- Hernandez: America the class of the Apertura

With regards to his play, getting mixed up with the MLS certainly was his worst decision. Financially, between awards, salaries and bonuses, he received $5 million a year. His image? He was at the time declared to be the worst star player in the history of the league.

At that time Marquez was exalted by his European story, but this greatness was annihilated by his immediate past in the MLS and León. How was one to believe that promise? Especially during the sweet years of the bitter Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre. Fed up with himself, he decided to blow up his own statue.

After that embarrassing phase of conflicts with his own teammates on the New York Red Bulls, until his slip against the Galaxy, when he chucked the ball at old nemesis Landon Donovan, and his start with León, Márquez decided to vindicate himself, for his own sake, for the sake of his vanity, for the sake of dignity and ambition and, it must be said, for his loyalty to the Mexican national team itself.

What happened next, the actions he then took, was an undeniable lesson for any Mexican player, of any age, no matter what dreams or hopes they may have.

Not everyone is able to recognize their vestiges, their ashes, their ruins, to then rise from them reinvented. Márquez did just that, and let no one come forward now claiming that they were sure he could do it. Two, and only two people stood beside him: Leon coach Gustavo Matosas, and club chairman Jesús Martínez. No one else.

After a disastrous stint in MLS, Rafa Marquez was able to resurrect his career with Liga MX side Leon.
After a disastrous stint in MLS, Rafa Marquez was able to resurrect his career with Liga MX side Leon.

And Márquez knows the most treacherous terrains. Shortcuts sometimes end up in dead-end streets. He chose his Road to Calvary. He did penance for all of his sins. He was key in bringing León its second consecutive championship win, and Mexico coach Miguel Herrera recruited him when they demanded that he call his "Dirty Dozen" (minus one) to save the team's spot to the World Cup in the intercontinental playoff against New Zealand. "El Piojo" made no bones about it: The team was Rafa Márquez and 10 others.

Their journeys were not at all alike, and he can't be compared to the five "Pichichis" of Hugo Sánchez, but it is clear that the Museum of Rafa Márquez has more altars and European glory than the chapel of the goal scorer of Real Madrid.

With the World Cup in full swing, Spain, and especially its defense, stole out along the underground passageways of dishonor on social media sites the followers of the Red Fury, especially those from Barcelona, expressed their surprise at Márquez's level of play at the World Cup. During one of the mixed zone sessions with the Mexican team, the so-called Kaiser of Michoacán explained that he didn't have offers, that he didn't plan to go back to playing in Spain, but that coming back to Europe was not off the table.

And the destination is Verona. Italy's Serie A is a perfect fit for the multi-World Cup captain of the Mexican team. He will not face the insane vertigo of England of Germany, nor the long spaces and one-on-ones we see in Spain.

In Italy, with everything and all its wizards, they choose to play in a shoebox. And Márquez is still a vivacious, vital, vivid and battle-hardened specialist at that task. And, most of all, Márquez deserves it. I repeat: the audacity and pride of rebuilding oneself from one's own rubble, with one's own relics, is met with the best recompense possible: returning to Europe.

It is worth asking: If the Mexican defender's level of play remains high, or even improves in Italy, will Herrera stay true to his statement that he will not be calling him back even for the scrimmages of the national team in the six FIFA games remaining in 2014?

It will be even an upstart moment for the FMF. It will be a perfect goodbye tour for Rafa Márquez with the national team in the United States, Mexico and Europe.

Swear to it, Rafa, that you will be called back. And it will be a perfect reward.

Rafael Ramos Villagrana

Rafa Ramos is a ESPNDeportes.com staff writer, based in Los Angeles. He is regularly featured on ESPN Deportes Radio's popular Raza Deportiva, and frequently appears on various TV shows. Before ESPN, Rafa was a journalist for L.A.'s La Opinión newspaper, where he covered El Tri through a number of World Cup appearances. He has over 100,000 followers on Twitter @rafaramosESPN

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.