September 22, 2011
New York Red Bulls defender Rafa Marquez, the third highest paid player in MLS with guaranteed pay of $4.6 million this year, was booed by the home fans every time he touched the ball in New York's 3-1 loss to Salt Lake. An underwhelming season combined with playing his part in a back line that allowed three goals in the first 20 minutes of the match (see the third goal here for a prime example of the problem) caused fans to turn on the Mexico captain. And he didn't appreciate that.
During the match, he made antagonizing gestures to the crowd and after the final whistle, he made things even worse. Behold! A lesson in how to make everyone dislike you even more than they already do. From the NY Post:
"I think this is a team game and unfortunately there isn't an equal level between my teammates and I,'' said Marquez, who gesticulated to the crowd. "I'm not paying attention to that. I'm actually focusing on my game…I'm focusing on performing at my highest performance, at the highest level. That doesn't mean the whole back line can perform at the same level, that's the problem.''
So, in other words, Marquez is saying that he's trying his best to play great, but his teammates are so awful that their awfulness is making him play bad. Two problems with that: 1) That's just not something you say about your teammates in public, even if it is true. And 2) It's not true.
While these comments will likely come back to haunt Marquez one way or another, he did do at least one thing right during this match by setting up Joel Lindpere overhead kick for New York's only goal. Have a look...