Breaking: Argentina legend Javier Mascherano retires from international football

Breaking: Argentina legend Javier Mascherano retires from international football

Former Barcelona star Javier Mascherano has announced his retirement from international football after his side's ouster from the 2018 FIFA World Cup tournament in Russia.

The 2014 finalists were beaten 4-3 by France at the Kazan Arena with Kylian Mbappe scoring a brace in the encounter.

Having failed to help La Albiceleste avoid crashing out of the championship, the 34-year-old felt it was time to hang his international boot.

READ ALSO: Russia 2018: Mbappe scores twice as France beat Messi-led Argentina 4-3

After the game, the Hebei China Fortune defensive midfielder said it was time to allow the younger generation take over as he supports them from outside of the pitch.

“It’s time to say goodbye, it’s time to support from outside. I hope that in the future these boys can achieve something.” (via @riksharma_ ) #ARG #WorldCup

Mascherano broke into Argentina team in 2003 and made 146 appearances for his south American team with three goals to his credit.

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He won two Olympic gold medals in 2004 and 2008 with his country's U23 national team but wasn't able to win any title with the senior team.

The 34-year-old was a part of the Argentine team that lost 1-0 to Germany at the 2014 edition of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

He also failed to win the Copa America title with La Albiceleste having reached the final of the competition on four occasions 2004, 2007, 2015, and 2016.

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The midfielder is the most capped Argentina player while Messi is the all time highest goals scorer for the team with 65 goals.

Meanwhile, according to reports in Russia, Lionel Messi might follow the foot steps of his former teammates at Barcelona to announce his retirement soon.

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Mascherano also featured for his country U20 national team but for a short period of time as he scored once in his 22 appearances for the team.

He left Barcelona in 2018 - where he spent eight seasons and won 19 titles which includes two Champions League titles.

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