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 By Tom Marshall

Mexico legend Rafa Marquez thanks team's World Cup fans but asks them to let team rest

ROSTOV, Russia -- Mexico players had a clear message for the throngs of fans who gathered outside the team hotel here on Friday night: thank you, but let us sleep.

Mexico supporters outside the team's hotel on the eve of Saturday's Group F clash against South Korea chanted for the players to come down to greet them, while a mariachi band was on hand playing classic Mexican ballads in full voice. But when El Tri's squad did emerge before 10 p.m., it was to ask the fans to allow them to rest a little.

"We are very excited, honestly, with the support we are receiving," said Mexico captain Rafa Marquez, addressing the fans with the whole squad behind him. "Personally, and on behalf of the whole group, I want to thank you, but we do want to ask you to let us rest."

"Tomorrow will be a very important game and we want to give all of you a lot of satisfaction. We ask you [to let us rest] with all our heart and we thank you for all the support."

"You are great, Marquez!" shouted one supporter and the Mexico squad burst into a song in praise of El Tri's leader.

Over 20,000 Mexico fans are expected in Rostov to cheer the team on against the Asian side, with the Mexican faithful buoyed by the team's 1-0 win over Germany in the first round of matches.

"You are incredible!" Wrote the national team on its Twitter account. "Fans and team united with the same objective at Russia 2018.

"Now it's time to rest to give everything tomorrow."

Fans broke out into chants after Marquez had finished speaking, ending with, "Now you see, now you see, we are the home side once again."

Mexico fans are expected to be in the majority inside Rostov Arena on Saturday, with El Tri closing in on a round of 16 spot with a win.

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

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