“I didn’t like the situation in Granada…here we are content and happy” – Javi Marquez on the Cosmos

Javi Marquez [Photo: Steve Hamlin/TICC]

It’s arguable that Javi Marquez had a slow start to the year and struggled to make an impact in his first appearances as a Cosmos. While he initially seemed to vanish at the start of the season, his weight has been felt in his last few matches, both in overall chemistry with his teammates and in the two goals he scored in his last three games.

The midfielder came to New York looking for a new start after spending his entire career in the Spanish system, becoming yet another former Liga player to join the NASL club alongside names like Marcos Senna, Raul and Ayoze.

And New York certainly seems to agree with him.

“My family and I decided it was the best option,” stated the Spanish mid. “What better city than New York to be with my children? Here we are content and happy.”

Being content is no small thing for Marquez. Despite a career that saw him play for Liga clubs like Espanyol, Mallorca and Elche, his final season with Granada saw him make only nine appearances.

It was time for a change.

“When a player isn’t in favor at a location, the best thing to do is change locations. I’d spent much time in the Spanish league and needed a change of air. I had many offers to continue there or to go abroad to other countries. I wanted to try in the United States, this city attracted me very much and they spoke to me very well about this club and that was the motivation for my coming here.”

The former Granada captain left dissatisfied with the club, its decisions and the direction it was taking. Ultimately, the direction it took led to relegation. With two games remaining in their season, Granada currently sits in 19th place, one point out of last.

“I didn’t like the situation in Grenada. I didn’t like anything about the situation there. There were many changes and the decisions taken by the club weren’t the adequate ones. And now you can see they’re about to be relegated, something that you could see coming.”

So after years of playing what he himself calls “the best league in the world,” what brought him to the New York Cosmos? Two reasons. And of them, in the form of an individual, should come as no surprise.

“More than anything, because of the long history this club has in America, in the United States. It has an incredible history with big players of world-class quality. Another reason that attracted me to the club was because Giovanni Savarese was here, a great coach.”

“He’s been there for me all the time and, well, he’s been a soccer player, no? A great soccer player both here in the US and in England and he has great experience in that regard, as well. In terms of the tactics, he’s been a footballer and that makes everything easier. In the last years, he’s won titles and brought important players.”

The Spaniard’s contract only runs through the spring season and he, himself, remains unclear on what his plans are beyond that. But, for now, he’s having fun.

In their last match against the Armada, Marquez struck a free kick perfectly, giving the Cosmos a first half lead. He took off for the sidelines by the Armada supporters raising his shirt to display a message and picking up a yellow for his troubles. But the message remained a mystery to Cosmos fans. Until now.

“It said ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ in Spanish,” he revealed with a laugh. “That weekend we celebrated Mother’s Day in Spain and I wanted to send a greeting to my mother, because, of course, I had just scored a goal. I ran to that side of the field because that’s where I saw the camera man, hoping he would get a good shot for the broadcast. Funny thing, I never saw it anywhere. Maybe he wasn’t a camera guy after all….”

Javi Marquez [Photo: Steve Hamlin/TICC]

It’s uncertain whether or not he’ll finish the season here. But, for now, at least it seems Marquez is finding the things that matter to him the most as a footballer. He said goals were at the bottom of the list.

“For me, it’s that every time the muscle memory returns more and more, that I have fun, overall when I’m on the field playing football. For me, it’s the most important thing that a footballer can have fun playing football doing what he most enjoys. And I’m back to enjoying myself playing football which is what I like and I’m going to try to do that until the last minute I’m here. Overall, to try to win, because that’s why I’m here; to be competitive, to do things right. But, over everything, to have fun, because when you have fun, everything looks right in the end.”


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