Chicharito: Marquez has answered his critics

The Mexico striker has paid tribute to his captain for his influence both on and off the pitch and is determined to see his side go beyond the last 16 at the World Cup
RECIFE, Brazil —Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez believes Mexico captain Rafael Marquez has silenced any doubts following his side's 3-1 win over Croatia on Monday.

Marquez, who is captaining his country at a record fourth World Cup, opened the scoring for El Tri in Recife in the crucial Group A clash before providing the flick-on for Chicharito on Mexico's third.

The former Barcelona defender was also in hugely impressive form in the 0-0 draw with Brazil on matchday two and his teammate has no doubt as to his importance within the Mexico set-up, despite now being 35.

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"He's a great character," Chicharito said of the Leon stopper. "He has a very good record, he's scored consecutively in three World Cups.

"He's a very important player for us and I think a lot of people criticize him for his age, he went to Mexico and won two leagues over there and now he's the captain here, scoring goals and supporting us in the best way possible, inside and outside of the pitch."

Mexico's win sees it paired with Louis van Gaal's free-scoring Netherlands in the last 16, but Chicharito is determined that this can be the North Americans' year as they look to reach their first quarterfinal since 1986.

"All the years we feel that. As a fan, now as a football player, every year we feel that. Every year we give our support to every national team and we're going to stay like that," continued the Manchester United striker.

"We're very happy, because I think the majority [of fans] pay a lot of money to travel to Brazil to follow us and cheer us and be there for us.

"I think the best thing that we can do for them is give 100 per ent on the pitch.

"We're still enjoying this victory, tomorrow is going to be the next day, we'll turn the page and think about Holland."