NEW YORK -- Rafa Marquez might have drawn the ire of New York fans and opposing players, but Thierry Henry believes the Red Bulls will miss the Mexico international.
“We’re obviously going to miss him, his vision on the field and the way he calmed people down," Henry said. "You don't replace Rafa Marquez easily."
Marquez was unceremoniously dumped by the Red Bulls and later signed with Liga MX side Club Leon during the past offseason. He is widely considered the worst Major League Soccer Designated Player signing of all-time as he was among the top three highest salaries in the league and made only 44 appearances during his three years with the Red Bulls.
Marquez became infamous for his antics during the MLS postseason. The former Barcelona center back threw a soccer ball at the back of Landon Donovan after a close defeat at home to the Los Angeles Galaxy, prompting the American to call both Marquez and the Red Bulls "dirty." He also received a red card in the final minutes of New York's home loss to D.C. United last season.
Despite being extremely unpopular during his stint in New York - where he even called out young defensive partner Tim Ream for not being on his level - Henry believes that Marquez was a good teammate
"He was an easy teammate for me," Henry said. "If you've looked back to anything I've said about him, I've always spoken well of him. He is one of the best defenders in the game over the past 15 years. So for me, I didn't see what the problem was."
One thing that Henry did want to clarify was what he believes to be a misconception about Marquez having a lack of effort. Some of the Mexico international's harshest critics pointed to his lack of appearances for his club team as a lack of trying to be on the field.
"People maybe thought that he wasn't trying to push it but he was really injured," he said. "Sometimes he tried to push it and he got even more injured. He got into a [constant] thing of trying to get back and not being ready. But he was a good professional and a great player. "
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