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Rafa Marquez is going nowhere
by Paul Kennedy, December 1st, 2009 7AM



[SPAIN] You can forget the talk of Rafael Marquez coming to MLS to play for the Red Bulls. On Monday, the Mexican international defender extended his contract with Barcelona until 2012, becoming the eighth player to renew his contract with Barca this season. His buyout clause for those thinking of buying him: 100 million euros ($149 million).

Marquez joined Barcelona from French club Monaco in 2003 but has been injured for much of 2009. In his absence, Gerard Pique has earned a starting spot next to captain Carles Puyol in the middle of the Barca backline.

"I'm very happy to renew with a club where I've felt very wanted, where I've enjoyed myself and where I've suffered," Marquez said. "I have to enjoy these moments, they pass very quickly. Now I need to recover full match fitness to try and win back a place in the starting 11, though competition is tough. I think I still have a good chance of being in the starting lineup."

Other players to renew their contracts with Barca include 2009 Golden Ball winner Lionel Messi, Eric Abidal, Yaya Toure, Victor Valdes, Pedro, Andres Iniesta and Puyol.


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