Argentina’s Mascherano announces international retirement

Argentina midfielder, Javier Mascherano has announced his retirement from international football, after they crashed out of the 2018 World Cup on Saturday.

Mascherano played all 90 minutes, as France edged a seven-goal thriller in their round of 16 encounter.

“This story has ended. We gave it our everything until the end,” the former Barcelona and Liverpool man told reporters after the match.

“It was a crazy match, in which we didn’t start well but we recovered and we turned it around. But their tying goal did so much damage to us.

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“It cost us so much to lift ourselves up again. From this point on I will be just another fan of the Argentina national team. It is over. The illusion is shattered.

“It’s time to say goodbye and for the younger players to step in,” he added.

Mascherano, 34, made 147 appearances for his country and played at four World Cups.

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He made his debut for Argentina in 2003, when he still hadn’t played professionally for River Plate.

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