IBWM StaffComment


IBWM StaffComment
Bra Marquinhos.jpg

Marquinhos     19     Defender     PSG      Brazil

2013 has been…

Worth a transfer fee of, according to various reports, between 27 and €32m.

Meteoric is not quite the word is it? By the age of 18 he had already risen through the ranks at Corinthians, captained the Brazilian U17 international side to victory in the South American Championship, been one of the players of the tournament at the U17 World Cup in 2011, made the club’s Copa Libertadores squad, earned a place on the bench for both legs of their victory against Boca Juniors in the 2012 final, secured a move to Roma, taken his chance in the first team, gone on to make 30 appearances in his debut season in Serie A, graduated to the Brazil U20 international squad and generally speaking, been consistently brilliant.

2013 has been taken at similarly blink-and-you’ll-miss-another-landmark speed. He finished the season with Roma with pundits heaping praise on a player whose maturity was staggering for someone so young in a position where experience can be key. He started as a wonder-kid and finished as somewhat of a phenomenon and predictably, he was heavily linked with the likes of Manchester United, Real Madrid (who had bids of €20m+ turned down), Barcelona, Manchester City and Chelsea.

Roma always maintained it would take a huge bid to tempt them and that sort of talk was like pressing the start button on the PSG money-machine. A ‘pick a number’ enquiry eventually led to another move to a huge European club for a player yet to see his twentieth year on the planet. Cue another smooth transition, chances to impress in the first team taken, a Champions League debut safely negotiated and a place at the heart of the defence for one of the most newsworthy clubs in world football secured. Breathless progress and enough to make Luiz Felipe Scolari call him into the full international squad for the first time for the November friendlies. An incredible year but one that is only in keeping with the rest of a non-stop career to date.

What next?

More of the above. He has missed the top grade by millimeters in truth, but if he can make his way into the full international side and do what he’s always done to this point – make it impossible not to pick him - he will be an absolute racing certainty for an A next time out if he keeps his form up.

Watching him the assured nature of his play and in particular his anticipation are astounding for a footballer who will finish the year with just over 50 full appearances accumulated career to date. Young central-defenders at this stage of their development need time to learn their craft and understand the nuances in dealing with a range of strikers, tactical systems and different partners. Marquinhos seems to take these hurdles two at a time and if he continues to grow as well as he has done career to date, he will end up as one of the best defenders in world football by his early-twenties.

The only question we can think to ask is whether he can keep this up? He’s now at a club that has priced him out of any transfer speculation for years to come and has a chance to settle and grow. With many on this list you’re backing potential but even in a relatively short career, Marquinhos has proved he has mastered the basics. Scarily good for his age right now, give him another two years and he could be untouchable. Will eventually make a mistake but he’ll learn from it, this is a potential future Brazil captain in the making.

“For a 19-year-old centre-back he has had an amazing start for PSG. Thrown into the deep-end but looks very calm and composed.” – Andrew Gibney, French Football Weekly

"The rise and rise of the young former Corinthians zagueiro continued after the youngster earning a starting role at PSG after an injury to Thiago Silva. With at least five more experienced centre backs ahead of him however, next year’s World Cup may come just too soon." - James Young, Tall Coconuts

"{C}11 league and Champions League appearances this season for Marquinhos, Paris Saint Germain have kept six clean sheets and conceded just six goals." - Opta

B     19-years old and at his third club, now it’s time to settle down and really grow. Quite the player already, if he keeps going at his current rate the sky really is the limit