Former Mexican international goalkeeper Antonio Carbajal, the first player to compete in five World Cups, has died.
He was 93.
Carbajal had been hospitalized in the north-central city of León for blood pressure problems, was discharged and died at home.
Known as “Tota,” Carbajal guarded the El Tri net Mexico in 11 matches at the 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962 and 1966 tournaments.
He held the record of playing in five World Cups for 32 years until German midfielder Lothar Matthaus, a former MetroStars defender-midfielder, equalled the feat.
Mexcian national team players Rafael Marquez and Andres Guardado, Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo also have performed in as many World Cups.
“I mourn the passing of one of the greatest legends of our Mexican soccer,” Marquez wrote on Twitter.
Carbajal also backstopped four qualifying efforts, but did not perform for Mexico when it hosted the Greatest Show on Earth in 1970 because he was 41.
Mexico dominated CONCACAF during that era beyond any team’s greatest dreams. Nicknamed El Cinco Copas for the five World Cups in which he played. Carbajal’s numbers, to put it mildly, are staggering. During four qualifying campaigns, he forged an incredible and near invincible 17-1-4 mark, surrendering only nine goals and recording 16 clean sheets.
His “worst” outing was a 3-3 away draw with the United States during the 1962 qualifying run, well before the Americans became a confederation power.
He made 48 international appearances.
Carbajal played most of his career in his hometown with Club Leon from 1950-66, winning titles in 1952 ad 1956.
After his retirement, Carbajal coached Leon, Morelia, Curtidores and Campesinos.