Carlos Marchena López, popularly known as 'Marchena' born 31
July 1979 in Seville is a Spanish footballer who currently plays
centre back for Valencia CF and the Spain national football
team. He is a regular first-team choice for both squads. He was
capped a total of 17 times for his country.
He started his professional career in Sevilla FC by the age of
18 when at that time, the club was still playing in the Segunda
(Second) Division in Spain. At the age of 20, he capped his top-flight
debut for his club against Real Sociedad in the 1999/2000 season.
When Sevilla FC was relegated again at the end of the 2000
season, Marchena sought a quick 12-month loan transfer to SL
Benfica where he did sufficiently well to catch the attentions
of top club Valencia CF who were in need to provide cover for
their aging centre-back Miroslav Djukic. Valencia signed him in
a four-year deal which involved a swap-deal with Zlatko Zahovic
for Benfica. While Marchena took a while in his first season to
impress as his new club clinched their first title in 30 years
in the 2001/2002 season, with the eventual departure of Djukic,
he was chosen as the natural replacement.
In the 2003/2004 season, with Valencia capturing a historic
league and UEFA Cup double, he played a pivotal role in defense,
teaming up well with fellow centre-back Roberto Ayala. This
polished performance led to his selection for the Spanish
national team for the Euro 2004 tournament. He was, in fact,
chosen at the last minute by then coach Inaki Saez as a
strategic move to bolster his squad with more centre-backs as
Saez's reasoning was that any team needs more defenders than any
other playing positions as good containing defenders are hard to
come by. While Spain did not do well in the tournament and bowed
out in the early stages, he did manage 2 appearances although he
did also picked up 2 yellow cards while doing so.
The 2004/2005 season was not a very successful season for
Valencia, as under new coach Claudio Ranieri, the team struggled
both domestically and in European tournaments. In a UEFA
Champions League first-round match against Werder Bremen at the
Mestalla stadium, he was also given his marching orders in the
final minutes of the match and Valencia was eliminated from the
elite competition. Nonetheless, despite the setbacks in the
previous season, he is still a mainstay in the team and would
continue to feature in the club's future ambitions.