Soccer  > World Cup  > Marquez asks Mexican public to believe
June 25, 2010, 05:20 PM
By Gerardo Mart??nez G??mez

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Doubt has always cost El Tri, according to defender and captain Rafael Marquez. Mexico's fan base will have to overcome that if the team is to beat Argentina on Sunday in its second round World Cup match.

"The reality is that there is there always pessimism in Mexico,' the Barcelona back said. "Sometimes we don't have that credibility or have that plus that other teams have, but there's nothing left for us but to make people believe in us by working, fighting and making the effort to at the end bring joy to the Mexican people. In the end the reason one does everything is to make people believe in this team.

It will be a second straight meeting in the knockout round between the two Latin powers. The South Americans beat Mexico 2-1 in extra time in the second round four years ago.

"This is not just about soccer but also other areas that we need to change in Mexico. We need to change that mentality. We need to be better in all aspects to be great, because with this pessimistic attitude???yeah it's Argentina, but so what? We can beat them and you have to think that way because if not we are going to just go being the same."

The native of Michoac??n, who would equal Antonio "la Tota" Carbajal's Mexican record of 13 World Cup matches if he plays Sunday, confirmed that this World Cup has been the one that he has enjoyed the most. He therefore doesn't want to comtemplay that he might be living his final moments as a member of El Tri.

"I am in one of my best moments, soccer wise and personally," he said. "I am enjoying the opportunity that I have. I have said it time and time again that this could be my last World Cup. I would be 35 years old in 2014 and I don't think that would be the idea for these types of tournaments.

"I am going to take advantage of this match, which is a great opportunity against a great team. I want to make history with Mexico and enjoy the moment, the opponent, the atmosphere."

Training daily with club teammate Lionel Messi at Barcelona's Camp Nou complex, Marquez feels he knows the keys to stop the Argentine striker.

"I know him rather well," he explained. "And the truth is that it's very tough to stop Messi, but we will try and close down spaces and have a lot of support because it's tough to take the ball away from Leo because he is fast, controls the ball well and changes rhythm at any moment.

"You have to play together in order to not give him space so that he has the ball as little as possible."

According to goalkeeper Oscar Perez, Mexico will be able to stop Argentina's attack as well as having the ability to successfully attack the South Americans.

"It's a difficult attack, with a lot of quality and one-on-one they can beat you," he said. "There's nothing left to do but stay together, not give them space and stay closed in the back so that they can't find the spaces they want. If we stay organized and close down the spaces, I think we can cause them damage in the back."

According to the pundits, Diego Maradona's side is much stronger up front than it is in the back, and Perez thinks that gives Mexico an edge.

"We are going to try and give our best effort, and there will probably be more space than in the match against Uruguay because in the end each match is different," he said. "We are going to be able to play more with the ball, because against Uruguay they were tight in the back and it was difficult to find space.

"Against Argentina, it will different and we hope to find those lanes and hope to get back to what we have been working on, getting the ball and attacking the opponent."


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