Argentina’s Mascherano Calls Time On Career After Painful France Defeat

Argentina’s midfielder Javier Mascherano (L) heads the ball beside France’s midfielder Nabil Fekir during the Russia 2018 World Cup round of 16 football match between France and Argentina at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on June 30, 2018. BENJAMIN CREMEL / AFP

 

Argentina’s most-capped player Javier Mascherano called time on his international career Saturday after the painful World Cup defeat to France.

“It’s time to say goodbye,” the 34-year-old ex-Barcelona, Liverpool and West Ham midfielder said after Argentina were dumped out in a 4-3 last-16 defeat by France.

“I hope that all the lads who follow in my footsteps can achieve what they are aiming for. There are no more illusions for me,” he told Argentina’s TyC sports channel.

Mascherano made his international debut in 2003 and went on to appear 147 times for his country.

He played 334 times for Barcelona before leaving at the end of last season for China to join Herbei China Fortune.

AFP

Neymar’s Teammates Weigh-In On PSG Transfer Rumours

Neymar, Costa, Olympics, BrazilGerard Pique told reporters that his now famous social media posting declaring Neymar would stay at Barcelona was his “intuition” and not breaking news.

The post, with a photo of Pique and Neymar with the caption “He stays” was seen as confirmation that the Brazilian would not go to PSG with a monster transfer fee.

Read Also: Neymar Will Not Be Leaving Barcelona -Club President

Pique said he told Neymar that PSG was in an inferior league and he would not get the recognition there unless they won the Champion’s League.

Pique

“For the conversations that I had with him, it’s just my intuition that he’ll stay, other than that obviously, I hope that he (Neymar) stays. We were in a relaxed atmosphere with other teammates when we took that photo, and that’s how that went. But in no way was that anything official. Well because firstly, it’s really not my business, and the person who has to decide that is Neymar.” Pique said.

Also, Javier Mascherano told reporters at FedEx Field outside Washington, DC that it was the desire of the entire team that Neymar stay at Camp Nou.

Javier Mascherano

“It’s clear what he said yesterday, and it’s a bit of the desire of the entire team, the desire that he stays, because he’s a hugely important player for us, more than just his quality as a soccer player, he has huge value, his personal qualities within the group.”

 

Barcelona is in DC preparing for their Wednesday International Champions Cup match with Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United team prior to their South Florida “Clasico” in Miami against Real Madrid.

Read Also: Neymar To PSG Just Rumours, Says Ernesto Valverde

Mascherano Warns Barcelona Against Juventus Attackers

Courtesy: marca.com

Barcelona defender, Javier Mascherano, has cautioned his teammates against Juventus pair, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala, ahead of Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg tie.

Juventus will meet Barcelona for the first time since the 2015 Champions League final, when an early Ivan Rakitic strike left Massimiliano Allegri’s men with a mountain to climb before they succumbed 3­-1 in Berlin.

Barcelona will be without Sergio Busquets due to suspension, meaning Mascherano could be given a rare outing in the midfield holding role.

Neymar, as well as Rakitic and Gerard Pique, who returned to the team following a suspension against Malaga, are all one booking away from a suspension that would rule them out of the return leg.

World Cup: Messi, Neymar Make 10-Man Best Player Award Shortlist

golden ballArgentine, Lionel Messi and Brazil’s Neymar have been nominated among the 10 players shortlisted for the award for best player at the World Cup.

Finalists, Argentina and Germany produced seven of the candidates announced by FIFA on Friday.

Messi is nominated along with Argentina teammates Angel Di Maria and Javier Mascherano, while Germany provides four candidates: Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm and Thomas Mueller.

Neymar is the only candidate from Brazil. Arjen Robben of the Netherlands and James Rodriquez of Colombia, the tournament’s top scorer with six goals, complete the list.

The players were selected by FIFA’s technical study group of coaching analysts and the winner is selected by the FIFA technical group and announced after the final.

The candidates for best young player are Memphis Depay of the Netherlands, and France pair Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane. Nominees for that award must have been born since Jan. 1, 1993.

Previous Golden Ball winners are:

1982 FIFA World Cup Spain: Paolo Rossi (Italy)

1986 FIFA World Cup Mexico: Diego Maradona (Argentina)

1990 FIFA World Cup Italy: Salvatore Schillaci (Italy)

1994 FIFA World Cup USA: Romario (Brazil)

1998 FIFA World Cup France: Ronaldo (Brazil)

2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan: Oliver Kahn (Germany)

2006 FIFA World Cup Germany: Zinedine Zidane (France)

2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa: Diego Forlan (Uruguay)