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Fernando Marcos, one of the greatest Mexican sports journalists of all time, died at home on Thursday at the age of 86. Marcos was a model for all journalists in Mexico, many of whom called him "teacher" for his wisdom and knowledge.

Marcos lived his life to the fullest. His life was soccer, and he played an important role in informing the fans and in helping further the popularity of the sport.


Marcos was born to Spanish parents in 1913, and began playing football with amateur side Germania Club in 1930. He also played for Asturias Club, but his prime was cut short by a serious knee injury, which forced him into early retirement.

Marcos did not want to leave football, so he registered as a referee in the Mexican Football League in Mexico City. The most controversial episode that occurred while he was a referee came during the Necaxa-Asturias match in 1939 when a brawl between players from both teams resulted in trouble in the stands and eventually the fire at what was then Asturias Field.

In those years, he began to write a soccer column in a newspaper, and when radio fever hit Mexico, his voice became extremely popular with the fans. In 1942, he finished his refereeing career and alternated between journalism and coaching.

Marcos was so amazing that sometimes he would coach his club in a game and simultaneously offer commentary on the radio, and then, after the match was over, he would the talk to the players in the dressing room while he sat on a chair and wrote the match report for the newspaper.

As a trainer, he had a succesful career with Necaxa, America, and Toluca, where he won the Cup trophy and guided the club to a runner-up spot in the league. Marcos also coached the national team between 1958 and 1960, going unbeaten for 13 matches, including a 2-1 victory over England in Mexico City. But after having various differences with the press, he left the team to Ignacio Trelles, who qualified Mexico for the 1962 World Cup.

By then, Marcos was an institution, and when television became popular he was a comentator for Telesistema broadcast company, known later as Televisa.

He gained notoriety for his "Four Words" editorial, and travelled around the world watching the Mexican national team, whether they were playing in a World Cup or in a friendly.

The final event Marcos witnessed was the 1998 World Cup in France, but due to illness he did not appear on TV. He was perhaps the only person in the world involved with soccer who had seen every World Cup of the 20th century.

The master of sports journalism will be remembered for his profesionalism and devotion to the job. His voice will remain in the ears of all Mexicans who love football.
 
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