Rafa Marquez Sees MLS Surpassing Liga MX

Former New York Red Bulls pariah Rafa Marquez has made the bold statement that players see MLS as a better option than Liga MX and that the American league will surpass the Mexican league in qualify in the not-so-distance future. Marquez has a sorted history in MLS, especially New York where he failed to live up to lofty expectations.

“I think the MLS is more attractive than coming to Mexico and that we should be a little worried about that,” Marquez told Fox Sports. “We should try to enamor our players more so that they can come back and that would help the quality of football get better.”

We’ve seen somewhat of an exodus of late from Liga MX with players like Darwin Quintero, Alan Pulido and Rodolfo Pizarro snub their Mexican clubs in favor of MLS careers. Added to that, players returning from Europe are also choosing MLS with Javier Hernandez and Carlos Vela picking Los Angeles as their landing spots.

One possibility is that it is a reflection of lifestyle. Mexico, a football-heavy country, places a large amount of pressure, both on and off the field, on player performance. MLS is known for being more niche and players can live their lives with far less hassle. Previous big-name designated players like Thierry Henry and Wayne Rooney lauded that fact as their lives seemed to be a revolving headline in European tabloids.

Marquez’s time in the MLS was marked with controversy during a time when it seemed that European stars were wanted more than Latin American ones. Injuries filled his time with the club and a lack of motivation in key moments led to a backlash from fans as he failed to produce in big moments.

Now, things have changed and talent from both Central and South America are seeing MLS as a home or a springboard to the future. It is helping to improve the quality of the league and could be what is needed to finally fulfill MLS’ promise of being a top league in the world.

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