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Mexico legend Rafa Marquez has been named boss of Barcelona’s B team, Barca Atletic, the club announced on Thursday.

In a statement, Barca said:

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 2014.

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.

It comes after Sergi Barjuan stepped down as Barca Atletic coach after he failed to win promotion to the Spanish second-tier last season.

the former midfielder has returned to the club where he spent seven years from 2003-2010.

Marquez was one of Barca president Joan Laporta’s first signings during his first spell at the club, joining from Monaco in 2003.

He went on to make 242 appearances for the Catalan club, winning two Champions League titles and four LaLiga trophies.

Marquez was also a stalwart for the Mexico national team from 1997 to his retirement in 2018, making 147 appearances and becoming only the third man to play in five World Cups at the 2018 tournament in Russia.

Marquez and Laporta have remained close since the former Mexico international left the club, and the Barca president first tried to bring him back to Camp Nou as coach of the Under-19 team last summer.

That proposed move fell through, however, as Marquez featured on a United States list of people linked to drug trafficking.

But Marquez, who always maintained his innocence, was removed from the list last September, paving the way for his appointment as Barca Atletic manager.

It is the 43-year-old’s second job in coaching in Spain after a brief spell in which he took charge of Alcala de Madrid’s Under-16 team.

By Amara

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