Rafa Márquez Becomes First Man To Captain At 5 World Cups

Márquez was a second-half sub for El Tri against Germany.

Rafael Márquez set a new World Cup record on Sunday. The legendary Mexico defender became the third player to appear in five World Cups when he came in for Andrés Guardado in the 74th minute for El Tri against Germany. More impressively, by taking the captain’s armband from Guardado, Rafa Márquez became the first player to captain five teams at the World Cup.

Rafa Márquez appeared in his first World Cup in 2002, captaining El Tri to the Round of 16 (where, for the sake of Mexico fans and Landon Donovan, I won’t mention how the tournament ended).

He also captained Mexico at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 World Cups. 

The only other players to have appeared in five World Cups are fellow Mexican Antonio Carbajal (1950-66) and German Lothar Matthäus (1982-98). Gianluigi Buffon went to five World Cups but only played in four (and missed the 2018 World Cup because of Sweden). 

Rafa Márquez came on to shore up the Mexico defense as Juan Carlos Osorio prepared his team for the onslaught of the defending champion, which trailed 1-0 at half thanks to a great counterattack finished by Chucky Lozano

Márquez also shares the record for most cards in a World Cup with six, shared with France's Zinedine Zidane and Brazil's Cafu. 

Mexico held on for a 1-0 victory against Germany. 

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