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 By Tom Marshall

Rafa Marquez: Mexico 'progressing too slowly' in developing young talent

MOSCOW -- The development of Mexican players needs to be sped up, according to national team captain Rafa Marquez. The former Barcelona defender believes that Mexico is still a distance away from matching world powers and has called on Liga MX clubs to give greater support to young Mexican players.

"I think in Mexico we have great infrastructure, but not the development that Spain has, not the methodologies that Spain and Barcelona have," said Marquez when asked by ESPN FC in a news conference on Saturday ahead of El Tri's Confederations Cup third-place playoff against Portugal.

Mexico lost 4-1 in a comprehensive defeat against Germany in the semifinal of the Confederations Cup last Thursday, sparking criticism in the domestic media about why Mexico has failed to step up when it plays against world powers.

"We are progressing too slowly in Mexico," stated Marquez. "It starts with the youth systems and then depends on the competition in our league, the opportunities that our youngsters have, which are very few. Lamentably, the development of the players is very slow compared to in Europe, Argentina, Chile, Brazil and those great teams that compete."

Marquez suggested that Mexican clubs should allow youngsters to move abroad when opportunities come up rather than holding out for high prices.

"I don't see another solution other than supporting the player a little more and not so much the business," said Marquez.

Tom Marshall covers Liga MX and the Mexican national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @MexicoWorldCup.

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