Marquez wary of misfiring French forwards

JOHANNESBURG - France's attacking players have not scored an international goal since last November but that does not reassure Mexico's defensive stalwart Rafael Marquez ahead of their World Cup meeting on Thursday.

"We can't put our trust in the fact that it's been a long time since they scored," the 31-year-old said about their Group A opponents who opened with an uninspiring 0-0 draw against Uruguay.

France's forwards have gone six matches without a goal stretching back to the first leg of the two-legged World Cup play-off victory against Ireland seven months ago.

"They're maybe not in the kind of form that we're used to seeing them in but that can change in an instant," Marquez told a news conference in Mexico's swanky eco-friendly hotel on Tuesday.

Marquez and defensive colleague Francisco Rodriguez looked imposing in enormous black puffer jackets on a blustery morning on the outskirts of Johannesburg, and the pair will have to be at their most dominant against France in Polokwane to counter the likes of Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka and Franck Ribery.

"They have quick players, we'll have to be careful," added Marquez, who has 92 caps and scored his 11th international goal against hosts South Africa in the tournament's opening game on Friday.

Former captain Marquez seems more free after relinquishing the responsibilities of guiding the side and is Mexico's figurehead in defence as well as adding an attacking threat.

"I don't need the captain's armband to keep playing my game. It doesn't mean anything," he said.

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