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At his introductory news conference, the Mexican veteran said he moved to Serie A for the opportunity, not financial gains.

The chance to play in Serie A, not money was the main motivation behind Rafa Marquez’s surprise move to Hellas Verona this week. 

“I signed a contract for lower figures than I had before (at Leon),” said 35-year-old Marquez in his first news conference at his new club. “I only wanted to return to Europe and play with Hellas Verona, money wasn’t important in this decision."

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Marquez noted that Verona wasn’t the only European club interested in him and that he is looking forward to squaring up against AC Milan striker Mario Ballotelli in the upcoming season.

The Mexico captain at Brazil also said he admired the history of one past Milan legend. 

“I’ve got examples of other great defenders that played in Serie A, like Paolo Maldini, who has also been a reference point for me,” said Marquez.

The former Barcelona player said the primary objective at Verona will be to survive, but that he is aiming to finish as high as possible and replicate the success at Leon, where Marquez won consecutive championships, despite joining the club when avoiding relegation was the main concern.

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