Toluca (Mexico), May 10 (IANS) Mexican football legend Antonio Carbajal, who was the first footballer to play at five World Cups, has passed away at the age of 93, the Mexican Football Federation said on Wednesday.
Nicknamed ‘La Tota’, Carbajal was also known as El Cinco Copas (five cups), after the former Mexican goalkeeper played in five editions of the FIFA World Cup between 1950 and 1966, a record he held alone for 32 years until it was equalled by Germany’s Lothar Matthaus.
“It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Antonio Carbajal, the first player to star in five FIFA World Cups. I send our most sincere condolences to his family and to all the Mexican fans who mourn his loss,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino in his condolence message.
Carbajal made his international debut against Brazil in the opening match of the 1950 FIFA World Cup Brazil. He earned 48 caps between 1950 and 1966, which included 11 FIFA World Cup matches.
His club career spanned 18 years between 1948 and 1966. Most of his career was with Mexican side Club Leon, where he played 364 games in 16 years.
“Don Antonio, legends never die. We will always follow your hand. It is an honor to be your team,” the Club Leon said.
The club also said the Leon Stadium will open its doors on Thursday to say goodbye to Don Antonio “La Tota” Carbajal, in the company of his family.
“Let’s say goodbye to a legend of our club and world football as he deserves,” it added.