The rock

An unusual thing happened at the end of 2010-2011 season at Rapid, as Marcos Antonio gained the captaincy of the team. The Brazilian defender came in Giulesti at the beginning of that championship, but played so well that determined the coach to give him this distinction. Not only his elegant style of playing was decisive, but also his determination on the field. With Antonio in defense, Rapid received the fewest goals in the last season, from all Romanian teams in the league.

Maftei and Lazar where the last two captains of Rapid, and nobody could imagine that a foreign footballer will take their place. But Marcos was capable of beating cancer so how can football be a though thing for him? Born on 25th of May 1983, at Alagoinhas, in Brazil, he arrived when he wasn’t even 20 at the second team of FC Porto. A promising professional debut, that didn’t lasted. He was quickly sold at Gil Vicente, after a short spell at Academica Coimbra. Between 2003 and 2006 he covered the defense line of Gil, but after he was loaned for one season at Uniao Leiria. His form kept rising and after a total of 91 games with 5 goals scored in the national Portuguese league, he attracted Auxerres’ attention and so he went and played in France.

But here, he stayed for only ten games, because he also confronted with serious health problems, but managed to regain and play a few games for PAOK and Belenenses. Luckily for Rapid, he was team mate at Auxerre with Daniel Niculae, which recommended him to the team from Giulesti. The Romanian striker proposed to pay his salary if he wouldn’t adapt like the great player for which he guaranteed. Antonio did not only accustom really well, but he became a pure solid rock in Rapid’s defense, that secured many points for the team and eventually a fourth place in the league table. He scored twice against Petrolul in 5-0 win in the Romanian Cup (a true derby for the fans) and once in the championship, when he opened the score in the away match against Sportul Studentesc, which Rapid eventually won 2-0.

So, after the departure of Lazar, Antonio was put in charge on the field and did pretty well until now this season, because in ten official games, Rapid has only one defeat. And Marcos isn’t just a great player but also a ‘clean’ defender, because, despite receiving 39 yellow cards in his entire career, he did not see a single red card.

And to convince you all about his performances let us watch bellow all his numbers, without reminding first that Marius Sumudica, Rapids’ coach from last season, was the one to gave him confidence, by finding him a place in the starting line-up:

2010-2011
1: Rapid – Vaslui 2-0, 90 minutes
2: Urziceni – Rapid 0-0, 90 minutes
3: Rapid – Otelul 0-0, 90 minutes
4: Dinamo – Rapid 3-2, 90 minutes
5: Rapid – Bistrita 2-0, 90 minutes
6: Gaz Metan – Rapid 0-1, 90 minutes
7: Rapid – CFR Cluj 2-0, 90 minutes
8: Craiova – Rapid 1-1, 90 minutes
C1: Rapid – Petrolul 5-0, 90 minutes, 2 goals
9: Rapid – Branesti 7-1, 90 minutes
10: Timisoara – Rapid 2-1, 90 minutes
11: Rapid – Astra 3-0, 90 minutes
12: Sportul – Rapid 0-1, 90 minutes, 1 goal
C2: Astra – Rapid 0-2, 120 minutes
13: Rapid – Pandurii 1-1, 90 minutes
14: Rapid – Steaua 0-0, 90 minutes
C3: Rapid – Steaua 0-1, 90 minutes
15: Tg. Mures – Rapid 1-0, 90 minutes
16: Rapid – U Cluj 3-0, 90 minutes
17: Brasov – Rapid 2-0, 90 minutes
18: Vaslui – Rapid 1-1, 90 minutes
19: Rapid – Urziceni 1-0, 90 minutes
20: Otelul – Rapid 1-0, 90 minutes
21: Rapid – Dinamo 0-0, 90 minutes
22: Bistrita – Rapid 3-2, 90 minutes
23: Rapid – Gaz Metan 2-1, 90 minutes
24: CFR Cluj – Rapid 0-1, 90 minutes
25: Rapid – Craiova 0-0, 90 minutes
26: Branesti – Rapid 0-0, 90 minutes
27: Rapid – Timisoara 3-2, 90 minutes
28: Astra – Rapid 0-0, 90 minutes
30: Pandurii – Rapid 0-1, 90 minutes
31: Steaua – Rapid 0-1, 90 minutes
32: Rapid – Tg. Mures 1-1, 90 minutes
33: U Cluj – Rapid 1-2, 90 minutes

2011-2012
1: Rapid – Vaslui 3-0, 90 minutes
2: U Cluj – Rapid 2-0, 90 minutes
3: Petrolul – Rapid 0-1, 90 minutes
EL1: Slask – Rapid 1-3, 90 minutes
4: Rapid – Concordia 2-0, 90 minutes
EL2: Rapid – Slask 1-1, 90 minutes
5: Ceahlaul – Rapid 1-2, 6 minutes
6: Rapid – Brasov 1-1, 90 minutes
EL3: Hapoel – Rapid 0-1, 90 minutes
7: Dinamo – Rapid 0-0, 90 minutes

So, from a possible total of 47 official games, Antonio did not miss but two in the last year League season and in one of those, Rapid suffered the only home league defeat in the last two seasons: 0-1, against Sportul.

From the 45 games in which Marcos entered, Rapid won 24, drew in 13 occasions and lost only 8. The scoreboard? 63:28!

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