Ambition Mexico's captain prepares for World Cup

"I'm more mature, with more ambition," he emphasized earlier this week, as Mexico prepared for its World Cup opener against Iran on Sunday. "I'm hoping to do a good job." As you remember, Rafael Marquez's first visit to the World Cup ended too soon: one of temper and one of a referee's red card. But he changed.

Marquez has been practicing in central defense, rather than in his usual holding midfield position, in Mexico 's training sessions for the World Cup. In scrimmages this week, during the portions of practice that have been open to media, he has also played on the right side of the defense.

Coach Ricardo Lavolpe has not spoken to reporters since El Tri arrived last week and has not announced a starting lineup for Sunday's opener in Nuremberg .

Marquez, like his teammates, is sticking to the party line: Everything is up to Lavolpe.

"I can adapt to the system that Lavolpe wants in the middle, at the back or on the right," Marquez said, speaking through a translator like all of Mexico 's players. "I can do many functions."

Forward Jared Borgetti agreed that Marquez has gained experience and maturity over the past four years.

"He is a good player that gives security in the line," said Borgetti, who also played for Mexico in the 2002 World Cup. "It is good to have a player like Marquez on the team, who is older and has experience over the last four years. He will help the defense in this World Cup", reports the AP.


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