May 14, 2018 / 10:11 PM / 10 months ago

Mexico's Marquez in line to play in fifth World Cup

Football Soccer - Mexico news conference - USA 2016 Centennial Copa America - Mexico City, Mexico - 24/05/16. Mexico's defender Rafael Marquez attends a news conference. REUTERS/Henry Romero Picture Supplied by Action Images

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Rafael Marquez could become the third player ever to appear in five World Cup tournaments after he was included in Mexico’s preliminary 28-man squad for the finals in Russia.

If Marquez, who can play as a centre back or defensive midfielder, walks out for Mexico during the June 14 to July 15 tournament, he would join German midfielder Lothar Matthaeus and Mexican goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal as a five-time World Cup veteran.

The 28-man squad named by coach Juan Carlos Osorio will be trimmed down to 23 by June 4.

Mexico kick off their campaign against champions Germany on June 17 before facing South Korea and Sweden in Group F.

Appearing in a fifth World Cup would be a fitting farewell for the 39-year-old Marquez, who had already announced his plans to retire from the sport following the tournament in Russia.

Marquez is one of the best-known athletes in Mexico and has enjoyed a long career playing for teams including Monaco, NY Red Bulls, Hellas Verona and now Atlas.

Reporting by Andrew Downie, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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