The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is drawing ever nearer – with just 3 days to go! Now that the World Cup is around the corner, Top Media Nigeria have been taking a closer look at different memories and statistic from the history of the tournament each day. Today, we beam the light on one player about to join the league of athletes with the most tournament participations.
3 – While 3 players have featured in five FIFA World Cup editions, Rafael Márquez is hoping to become the fourth player to appear in five World Cups.
Having made his Mexico debut in 1997, had he been chosen to the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, the versatile player would have had a sole honour of World Cup participation should he feature in Russia.
Only one player from the 2002 World Cup will play in the 2018 World Cup.
Mexico's Rafael Márquez. 🇲🇽 pic.twitter.com/E4Le100yer
— GiveMeSport (@GiveMeSport) June 10, 2018
The first pair to achieve the feat of five World Cup appearances were Antonio Carbajal (Mexico) and Lothar Matthaeus (Germany). Carbajal in the 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966 world cups; Matthaeus at the 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998 editions.
The most recent is Gianluigi Buffon (Italy) who appeared in the 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014 tournaments.
Rafael Marquez is only the fourth player to go to FIVE World Cups 🇲🇽 pic.twitter.com/fbctHHjEuf
— B/R Football (@brfootball) June 4, 2018
Marquez will be hoping to complete this illustrious quartet in Russia, having starred at the 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 events.
During Mexico’s opening match at the last World Cup in Brazil– a 1–0 win over Cameroon – Márquez became the first player to captain a team in four World Cups.
Four days to go… 🙌
Mexico's Rafael Marquez holds the record for most tournaments featured in as captain (four)! 👏 pic.twitter.com/PbeRf4SkcT
— Sport360° (@Sport360) June 10, 2018
On 23 June, he scored the opening goal in the 3–1 win against Croatia, thus advancing to the knockout stage. This goal made Márquez the first Mexican player to score in three consecutive World Cups, and the second Mexican player ever to score in three different World Cups after Cuauhtémoc Blanco .
Xavi Hernandez, Iker Casillas, Thierry Henry, Rigobert Song, Fabio Cannavaro, Ronaldo Delima, are some of the other legends with four world cup appearances. Ceteris Paribus, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will be on four too this week.
Which players will make a case during the #WorldCup for inclusion in #TheBest shortlist, following a decade of dominance by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo? https://t.co/2mQl9N92HT pic.twitter.com/6OgXYGE1Fe
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) June 10, 2018
Marquez, 39, has said he will retire from active football after the Russia tourney.
Meanwhile, El Tri’s best progression in World Cups has been reaching the quarter-finals in both the 1970 and 1986 World Cups , both of which were staged on Mexican soil.
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