Guardado talks up Mexico chances

JOHANNESBURG - Mexico's versatile defender Rafael Marquez trained with the squad on Monday for the first time since they arrived at the World Cup.

Marquez, who has recovered from a right leg injury, trained without difficulties as they prepared for the opening match against hosts South Africa on Friday.

Striker Guillermo Franco has also got over an injury and could win a place in coach Javier Aguirre's team at the impressive Soccer City stadium.

Midfielder Andres Guardado said he believed Mexico, who also face France and Uruguay in Group A, may have their best World Cup.

"Our preparation was very good, we have no ceiling," said Guardado after Mexico ended their tour of Europe with a 2-1 win over world champions Italy in Belgium last week.

"Mexico have the capacity to play the best World Cup in their history ... and get to the fifth (quarter-final) match but we want to go further."

The team's best performance was as hosts in 1986 when they reached the quarter-finals.

Guardado said the hosts might have a physical advantage over the Mexicans but in ball skills "we can be superior to South Africa".

"We can cause them a lot of damage and we have people up front capable of doing that," he added.

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