Barcelona icon Javier Mascherano retires from football

Former Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano has announced his official retirement from football, according to the BBC.

The Argentinian has brought the curtain down on a stellar career after spells in his native country, alongside Brazil, England, Spain and China.

Mascherano played a starring role for Rafa Benitez’s Liverpool side before joining Pep Guardiola’s all conquering Barcelona in 2010.

He remodelled his game from a defensive midfielder into a central defender in partnership with Gerard Pique, with 334 appearances in all competitions in eight seasons in Catalonia.

The 36-year old won five La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues during his time at the Camp Nou, before joining Chinese club Hebei China Fortune in 2018.

Mascherano ends his career as Barcelona third highest ever overseas La Liga appearance maker, behind Lionel Messi and Dani Alves.

He is currently the most capped Argentina international ever, with 147 appearances, six ahead of his old Barcelona teammate Messi.

 

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