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 By Tom Marshall

Rafa Marquez intent on making history for Mexico at fifth World Cup

Sebastian Salazar and Herculez Gomez reflect on Rafael Marquez's contributions to El Tri and how he might fit into Juan Carlos Osorio's World Cup plan.

MOSCOW -- Mexico captain Rafa Marquez will become only the third player to play at five World Cups if he steps onto the field in Russia, and the 39-year-old is intent on making his final World Cup count.

El Tri opens on Sunday against current world champion Germany, and former Barcelona defender Marquez could well play a part, even if it is off the bench.

"Above all, Mexico needs some joy right now due to the social and political moment it is going through and this is a great opportunity for all of us," Marquez said in an interview with ESPN's John Sutcliffe. "For my part, I will do everything possible to do my little bit to help Mexico succeed."

Marquez has already retired for club side Atlas and is set to hang up his boots when Mexico goes out of the tournament, which the player hopes is at the quarterfinal stage at a minimum.

"[I dream] about making history with the national team," Marquez said. "It's been a thorn in the side that in four opportunities we've not been able to achieve it.

"This is the moment, it's today, it's the present. We can't wait four more years to make history.

"We have all the tools and we have to work them. We have to convince ourselves, mentally prepare ourselves to be able to make history."

El Tri will face South Korea in Rostov on June 23 and Sweden in Yekaterinburg on June 27.

Mexico has never got beyond to a quarterfinal of the World Cup outside of its home tournaments.

Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.

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