Mexico's Rafa Marquez 'in great shape' after joining elite World Cup group

Mexico defender Rafael Marquez is feeling "in great shape" after becoming only the third man in history to play at a fifth career World Cup.

Marquez earned the distinction after coming on as a substitute during Sunday's massive 1-0 win against world champions Germany.

The 39-year-old has already retired from playing for club side Atlas and declared his intention of ending his playing career when Mexico's World Cup campaign is over, came on in the 74th minute against Germany to equal the records of Mexico compatriot Antonio Carbajal and Germany's Lothar Matthaus.

"I feel in great shape for the rest of the tournament," Marquez said after the historic appearance and victory for Mexico. "Back home no one thought that we could pull this off. We have a pessimist culture in Mexico, but we have a tough mentality."

Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio brought Marquez on to make Mexico's defensive tactics more robust as Germany threw men forward in search of a goal to level the game. Playing as captain in a defensive midfield role, he made some tough tackles on German players as Mexico successfully defended its lead.

"I didn't think about the fifth World Cup," Marquez said. "The game was close and I just wanted to do my job. It was a moment with a lot of pressure."

Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was called up to five World Cups but played in only four of them, with Gianluca Pagliuca starting for the national side in 1998.

Marquez first appeared for Mexico at the 2002 World Cup and has since gone on to feature in 2006, 2010, 2014 and now 2018.

"[I dream] about making history with the national team," Marquez said in an interview with ESPN's John Sutcliffe before the tournament began. "It's been a thorn in the side that in four opportunities we've not been able to achieve it.

"This is the moment, it's today, it's the present. We can't wait four more years to make history.

"We have all the tools and we have to work them. We have to convince ourselves, mentally prepare ourselves to be able to make history."