Rafael Marquez (pictured) celebrates after Mexico defeated the USA to win the 2015 CONCACAF Cup. (Photo: Mexico)
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Liga MX side Atlas announced Sunday that it has reached an agreement with Italy’s Hellas Verona to acquire defender Rafael Marquez ahead of the 2016 Clausura season.
The transaction marks the Mexico international’s return to his first club, with which he debuted professionally during the 1996/97 season.
Marquez joined Hellas Verona from Leon in August 2014, appearing in 35 Serie A games.
He played with Monaco in France from 1999-2003 and then enjoyed seven trophy-filled years with Barcelona, winning a pair of UEFA Champions League titles, four Spanish La Liga crowns and a FIFA Club World Cup in 2009.
Before heading to Leon in late 2012, Marquez spent two-and-a-half seasons with the New York Red Bulls.
With Leon, the central defender captured the Liga MX 2013 Clausura and 2014 Apertura championships.
Internationally, Marquez has appeared in four World Cups with Mexico (2002, 2006, 2010, 2014), while winning one FIFA Confederations Cup (1999), two CONCACAF Gold Cups (2003, 2011) and the CONCACAF Cup (2015).
Atlas finished the recently completed 2015 Liga MX Apertura in in 16th place.