Marquez nears Barça return
Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez is targeting the club's upcoming trip to the United States to make his return to the squad following injury.
Marquez was forced to miss the end of last season after suffering a knee injury during the UEFA Champions League semi-final first leg against Chelsea at the Nou Camp in late April. The Mexico captain underwent arthroscopic surgery and was initially told he would be out for up to 10 weeks, meaning he had to watch on from the sidelines as Barca won an historic treble of Primera Division, Champions League and Copa del Rey.
Marquez looks to be closing in on a return to full fitness now, though, and the 30-year-old could be back training with his team-mates during their trip to America at the start of next month. "I feel very well, happy to return. I'm still not with the squad, but we are working towards me being part of the group in the United States and to be at 100 per cent," said Marquez, who admits it was tough to miss the final weeks of Barca's record-breaking season.
"Without doubt. I felt helpless because I was out of such important games, but at the same time I felt a great happiness. I thank my team-mates for obtaining these victories." he went on. "I hope that next season I can always be with the squad."
Looking even further ahead, Marquez admits he would like to see out his career at Barcelona, and insists he is not concerned about the fact that his current contract runs out next summer."It would be my wish to retire at Barca. I'm very calm with regards the contract renewal. I know that we will arrive at an agreement, so it's only a question of time," said Marquez, who has been with the Catalan club since 2003.