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Seven reasons why former Barcelona defender is gaining weight as Xavi’s replacement – report

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Photo credit ULISES RUIZ/AFP via Getty Images

It was only yesterday that we reported how convinced the Barcelona board is with the Barça Atletic manager Rafa Marquez.

At present, the team from Catalonia is working on convincing Xavi, but if the 44-year-old ultimately decides to leave, the management will look within the organization for the needed change.

While there are many names that they are being considered at the moment, the solution within the team is slowly getting traction and approval from the management. Above all, even Marquez is now ready to take that leap.

In this context, as relayed by SPORT, club president Joan Laporta, who is extensively working on this issue, is set to present seven arguments over the hiring of the Mexican and those are as follows:

Laporta’s watchful knack of spotting unknowns

Some people argue that Marquez doesn’t have enough experience managing top-level teams. But Laporta has a knack for spotting and backing unknowns despite doubts around them. 

Laporta picked Pep Guardiola, who hadn’t managed big teams before, and he built the golden generation of Barça. Laporta also chose Frank Rijkaard and Xavi, who didn’t have much coaching experience, but they succeeded too. 

So, it is safe to say that Laporta’s choices showed that lack of experience is not always a problem.

Level of trust between Deco, Laporta and Mendes

It is well known that Laporta prefers to surround himself with people he trusts, and among his trusted circle is Jorge Mendes. The superagent not only manages players but he is also representing Marquez.

Rafa Marquez is loved by Barcelona. (Photo credit YURI CORTEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Deco is another key figure in this inner circle of trust. 

The sporting director happens to share a strong bond with Marquez and in a recent interview, he emphasized that Deco’s presence has significantly eased the communication between the first team and the youth team.

Strong bond between Laporta and Marquez

It’s clear that Laporta and Marquez are close. They have known each other since 2003 when the club president brought the former defender to Barcelona. He turned out to be a great player, and he supported Laporta in his recent election run as well. 

Laporta initially wanted Marquez to coach the youth team, but there were some problems at first. Later on, when Marquez was free, Laporta got him to coach Barcelona’s reserve team.

Laporta likes Marquez’s style of play

Since the beginning, Marquez has taught the Barça reserve team to play just like he did when he was a Barça player. He loves using the 4-3-3 formation and rarely switches it up, except when they are winning in tough situations, then he might add an extra defender.

Marquez loves the style of play where players keep their positions, pass quickly, and speed up near the opponent’s goal. This matches what the Barcelona fans like, including Laporta, who thinks the reserve team plays exciting football. 

Marquez’s record with young players

Barça Atletic is like the baby team for the main Barcelona squad. Marquez, similar to Xavi, enjoys supporting young players from the lower teams and believes in them strongly. 

Rafa Marquez’s style of play is appreciated by Barcelona. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

He has helped many youngsters from the Juvenil A squad and it must be remembered that before Pau Cubarsi made it big, Marquez gave him a chance.

This season, Marquez has given playing time to young players like Marc Bernal, Noah Darvich, Pau Prim, Dani Rodriguez, Alexis Olmedo, Alvaro Cortes, Brian Farinas, and even 15-year-old Guille Fernandez.

Marquez has fulfilled expectations

Marquez’s management has helped Barça Atletic big time and it is due to this that the club thinks highly of him. 

Laporta believes the team has improved under him even though they faced many challenges like injuries and players being called up to the first team. The U-17 World Cup also affected the team but despite all this, the team has progressed. 

In the first year, they met their goals, qualifying for playoffs, and in the second, they improved both creatively and defensively, with a promotion looking possible.

Marquez is respected

At the club, they like how the former defender is open with his players and staff. He asks a lot from them but also understands them. 

Marquez leads quietly on the field and in the locker room. He earns respect without making a big deal and he likes to have older players around him to learn from, like Marc Casado and Moha.

In the locker room, Marquez stands out by talking and giving space to players. Laporta is keeping an eye on how he leads the youth team, just in case he needs a backup plan.

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