At the age of 36, Javier Mascherano surprisingly announced his retirement from professional football after the defeat of Estudiantes against Argentinos by 1 to 0. The ex-footballer, who emerged in River, was an emblem of the Argentine national team and captain for many years. He led, along with Lionel Messi, the litter that was one step away from glory at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, after the final lost to Germany.
“Today I played my last game professionally, I had been thinking about the decision for a long time and had discussed it with the club. It is time to end my career, due to a lot of things that have happened to me these months. I thought about it a lot and the most correct thing is finish today. Especially because I have lived my profession to the fullest and I find that it has been a while for me and I do not want to disrespect Students, this profession, or my colleagues, “Mascherano said at a press conference.
He made his debut at River in 2003, and since then he has become a benchmark in the midfield. He quickly reached the senior team, where he played four World Cups (Germany 2006, South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014 and Russia 2018). “Today you become a hero” is perhaps the phrase that put him squarely in the hearts of Argentines: with temperance, confidence and character, he thus motivated Sergio Romero before the penalty shootout against the Netherlands for the semifinals of the Copa del World in Brazilian lands.
Currently, Mascherano was a player for Estudiantes, a club he joined at the end of 2019, after 14 years in foreign football, which included an important stint in Barcelona, as well as Corinthians, West Ham, Liverpool and Hebei Fortune, of Chinese football.
“It has nothing to do with the club or the results, they are personal sensations. I appreciate that Estudiantes have made me return to Argentine football. I am grateful to Desábato and all my teammates for having supported me during this time,” said the former Barcelona player.
Two-time Olympic champion with the Argentine National Team in the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Games, Mascherano also participated in four World Cups, the 2001 U-17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago and the 2003 U-20 United Arab Emirates. the Albiceleste jacket, integrated the teams in five Copa América (2004, 2007, 2011, 2015 and Centenario 2016), in addition to the South American Sub’17 Peru 2001 and Sub’20 Uruguay 2003
At the club level, Mascherano accumulates 21 titles in his record: one with River, another with Corinthians and 19 with Barcelona, a club in which he played between 2010 and 2018.
The future of Mascherano will be linked, almost certainly, with the Argentine youth teams from next year, after several conversations with Claudio Tapia, president of the Argentine Football Association.