Former Liverpool and Barcelona star Javier Mascherano retires at 36 as Argentina’s most-capped player after stellar career with two Champions League titles
- Javier Mascherano played 649 club games after making his senior debut in 2003
- He overtook Javier Zanetti to become Argentina’s most-capped player in 2018
- Mascherano won two Champions Leagues and five LaLiga crowns at Barcelona
Former Liverpool and Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano has announced his retirement from football at the age of 36.
Mascherano, the most-capped player in Argentina’s history, made the announcement in a press conference at his current club, Estudiantes.
He said: ‘I want to announce that today I am retiring from soccer professionally.
Javier Mascherano won five La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues while with Barcelona
Mascherano was instrumental as Argentina made their first World Cup final in 24 years in 2014
‘I want to thank this club that gave me the opportunity to finish my career in Argentina.
‘I lived my profession 100%, to the maximum that I possibly can, and for a while now that has been getting harder.
‘Sometimes you don’t choose the end, it happens all by itself.’
The arrival of Mascherano and Carlos Tevez at West Ham United certainly caused a stir
After making his debut for River Plate in 2003 aged 19 and winning domestic titles with the Buenos Aires-based team and Corinthians, Mascherano made a controversial move to West Ham United alongside Carlos Tevez in 2006.
The Hammers were slapped with a record £5.5million fine by Fifa for impropriety over the signing of the pair, with Mascherano moving to Liverpool the following February.
He made 139 appearances in a successful three-year spell on Merseyside, with the club finishing four points behind Manchester United in the 2008-09 Premier League season.
The tough midfielder proved a hit with Liverpool fans during his three-year spell on Merseyside
Mascherano played alongside fellow Argentina legend Marcos Rojo at Estudiantes last season
Mascherano then won five LaLiga and Copa del Rey crowns with Barcelona, as well as two Champions Leagues and a pair of Club World Cup titles, while also playing an instrumental role in Argentina’s passage to the World Cup final in 2014.
Moves to Hebei China Fortune and Estuadiantes followed in the twilight of his career and he played alongside fellow Argentina stalwart Marcos Rojo with the latter team, ending his career with 649 club appearances in all competitions.
Mascherano also overtook Javier Zanetti’s caps record of 143 in 2018, finishing with the princely total of 147.
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