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Former Barca defender in line to become third man to play in five World Cups

Rafael Marquez has been beset by legal problems off the field this year but he has been named in Mexico’s preliminary World Cup squad.

The 39-year-old hasn't played for Mexico since the Confederations Cup last year.
The 39-year-old hasn't played for Mexico since the Confederations Cup last year.

VETERAN RAFAEL MARQUEZ is on course to captain Mexico in his fifth World Cup, after being named in Juan Carlos Osorio’s provisional squad for Russia 2018.

The former Barcelona centre-back recently made a farewell appearance for his club Atlas, and bowing out on the biggest stage with El Tri was earmarked as a perfect end to Marquez’s career that has seen him earn 143 caps.

Marquez will look to become only the fourth player ever to compete in five World Cups, alongside Lothar Matthäus and fellow countryman Antonio Carbajal with Marquez aiming to compete in five as a captain.

However, the 39-year-old has not played international football since last year’s Confederations Cup after being sanctioned by the United States Treasury for alleged ties to a drug trafficking organisation.

“I believe that my legal counsellors have already addressed the issue so I’m still excited, I still keep the huge dream of ending my career in that way,” he told ESPN in April.

The Mexican spent a number of years with Barcelona, winning four Spanish titles and two Champions Leagues. He will join stars such as Javier Hernandez, Giovani Dos Santos and Hector Moreno in the preliminary 28 man squad.

Marquez missed out on selection for the finals in France in 1998, but has featured as captain at every World Cup since for El Tri.

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