Mexico captain Rafa Marquez has bitten back at former teammate Cuauhtemoc Blanco’s suggestion that he isn’t the kind of leader El Tri needs at present.
“What can you expect from Cuauhtemoc Blanco?” asked Marquez on Tuesday in Atlanta ahead of Mexico’s game Wednesday against Nigeria. “If you’d have told me that (the criticism) had come from an educated or serious person who is an example off the field, maybe (I would take it) …”
Blanco said on Monday that the current Mexico side lacks leaders and that Marquez isn’t vocal enough on the field, but the former Barcelona player shrugged it off and said the two El Tri legends are friends.
El Tri coach Miguel Herrera stood firmly behind his captain, stating Marquez had been an exemplary leader since he took charge.
“I see Rafa shouting on the pitch, I see in the locker room how everyone has respect for him and it is a respect he has earned on a world stage, not what he has done in Mexico,” Herrera said in Tuesday’s news conference.
Herrera also confirmed Marquez will start against Nigeria and tweeted his full team later Tuesday evening.
Mexico will line up with Guillermo Ochoa, Diego Reyes, Marquez, Hector Moreno, Paul Aguilar, Andres Guardado, Juan Carlos Medina, Hector Herrera, Luis Montes, Oribe Peralta and Javier Hernandez.