Rafa Marquez to Russia: Historic fifth World Cup beckons for 39-year-old

Rafa Marquez will be named in Mexico’s 23-man World Cup squad when it is announced on Monday, according to Record.

The former captain’s participation has been in doubt since he was one of 22 people sanctioned under the United States’ Foreign Narcotics Kingpin Designation Act in August 2017.

If the 39-year-old goes to Russia, he will follow in the footsteps of Antonio Carbajal, Lothar Matthäus, and Gigi Buffon and become just the fourth player in history to travel to five World Cups.

And because Buffon didn’t see game time at France 98, Marquez can become only the third player—and second Mexican—to play in five tournaments.

The ex-Barcelona defender ended his illustrious domestic playing career with boyhood club Atlas at the end of the Clausura. Regardless of his participation with El Tri in June, he will hang up his boots for good when the World Cup ends.