FIFA.com, Monday, March 23, 2009 3:15 PM
Speaking out for one of the first times since being tossed from Mexico's 2-0 loss to the USA in the World Cup final-round qualifying opener on Feb. 11, veteran and captain Rafael
admitted to FIFA.com that the Mexican national team "has a deep-rooted problem and that's the cause of the bad patch we've been going through."
According to the Barcelona defender, Mexican soccer "is stagnating and with everything that's happened, it's time to come right out and say it. If we carry on like this we're all
going to pay for it," although he stopped short of actually naming the culprit or specific reasons behind a four-game winless streak in Concacaf qualifying matches.
outcries that Marquez doesn't respect his green jersey, he dismisses them as nonsense. "I love fighting for my country, I've been in every national team from the youth teams up and
I'm never going to let Mexico down again," promised Marquez, who added that the media and fans "need to trust in us" and said he has "no doubts" about Mexico securing
a spot in South Africa in 2010. Mexico hosts Costa Rica on Saturday and plays at Honduras April 1.
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