Marquinhos, 100 games as an exemplary captain
Marquinhos arrived at Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2013 and has grown a lot since. The centre-back has risen through the ranks with patience, humility and dedication. Against Real Madrid, the Brazilian celebrated his 100th game as captain. A look back at the career of a singular and already historic captain.
For several years now, Paris Saint-Germain and Marquinhos have been inseparable. Marquinhos, who has been in the Red and Blue since the age of 19, has gradually developed into the accomplished man we know today. For a long time supported by his compatriot Thiago Silva, 'Marqui' is now one of the best central defenders in the world and the pillar of our defence. Proof of his self-sacrifice, Captain Marqui has also often devoted himself, always with a smile, to playing in midfield to make up for missing players in that position, or even on the right flank when he first joined the club. Priority to the team. Always. Because yes, Marqui is a team player and his aura as captain lifts all of his teammates.
"Marqui is magnificent," Marco Verratti told Téléfoot. "He is always positive, he always has a word for everyone. He is perfect for us."
Full-back Achraf Hakimi spoke to PSG TV about his captain's contribution on the pitch. "He is a Paris Saint-Germain legend, a leader, he shows it in every game. He is a perfect captain for us. I am happy to play alongside him. He helps the youngsters but also all the players. It's important to have him in the team."
After his 100th game as captain, Nuno Mendes praised the qualities of the player he describes as "a great man": "Marquinhos is the definition of a great captain who gives everything to the club. He deserves everything that happens to him."
The Sao Paulo native's history in Paris has been one of patience, but his first start in the Champions League was a taste of things to come. A few weeks after his arrival in France, Marquinhos was decisive against Olympiakos in the group stage of the European competition on 17 September 2013. That day, he got his first goal with the Parisian crest sewn on his heart. The fans of the capital got their first taste of the man who would later become a true Parisian legend.
Still a young player in the squad, Marquinhos was able to seize the opportunities presented to him by always showing a state of mind beyond reproach. Patience, versatility and humility were his watchwords. The way he celebrates a decisive defensive tackle as if it was a goal has thrilled all of us at some point. Alongside more senior players, Marquinhos has grown stronger until becoming indispensable to the team.
With his will to win and his dedication, he quickly showed the soul of a leader, capable of wearing the armband of a great club. And then came the consecration. In October 2017, the Brazilian played his very first match as captain against Girondins de Bordeaux and thus became the eighth Brazilian in the history of Paris Saint Germain to assume this role. From then on, Marqui became Thiago Silva's vice-captain. And the central defender didn't wait to wear the armband full time to make us get up from our seats!
Marquinhos was the captain for the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg against Dortmund in 2020, putting in an all-action display. On 11 March, as the global pandemic began to take its toll on the world, the captain and his team treated the fans in the stands to their first quarter-final appearance for four years.
The Final 8 adventure that followed only reinforced the leadership of our number 5 on the pitch. He was often decisive with his head and, at the end of a nerve-wracking quarter-final, he scored the equaliser against Atalanta to send his team to the semis. Insatiable, he opened the scoring in the semi-final against Leipzig, putting his stamp on Paris Saint-Germain's first ever qualification for the Champions League final.
Until now, Marquinhos was vice-captain, but when Thiago Silva left in the summer of 2020, he became the official captain of the Red and Blue. This was the culmination of an impeccable sporting and human journey. And 'Mocote', as he is known to his family, brings us luck with an armband on his arm with a record of 71 wins, 16 draws and 13 defeats as captain. In his first season as official captain, Marquinhos has been more and more decisive and his team has reached the semi-finals of the Champions League for the second time in a row.
We all remember that goal at the Allianz Arena on a snow-covered pitch, where the captain finished clinically to make the difference from a pinpoint cross from Neymar Jr. In the semi-final, captain Marqui once again took responsibility and opened the score by heading in Angel Di Maria's corner. He was the only Parisian scorer in this double confrontation against the Citizens.
Over the years, Marquinhos has proven his attachment to the capital club. With his perfect French, his close relationship with the fans and his unwavering integrity towards Paris Saint-Germain, Marquinhos is unanimously appreciated. And the story has only just begun... Last week, Marqui told Téléfoot "Paris is the club of my life". After becoming a man in Paris, he is a true symbol of the Red and Blue team and there is no doubt that the love story between Marqui and Paris will be eternal.