Lionel Messi sends emotional message to Javier Mascherano upon his retirement

The football world has been sending their congratulations to Argentine footballer and former Barcelona star Javier Mascherano, who has announced his retirement.

Mascherano spent eight years in Catalonia, winning five La Liga titles, five Copa del Reys, three Spanish Super Cups, two Champions Leagues, two European Super Cups and two Club World Cups.

Able to operate at the centre of defence or the base of midfield, Mascherano was a highly accomplished and tenacious footballer and received many messages of congratulations according to Diario Sport.

“We lived some very happy moments and also some hard ones, and we have been missing you since you left,” Lionel Messi wrote on Instagram in a joint farewell that also said goodbye to Fernando Gago, another Argentine teammate who recently announced his retirement.

Luis Suarez, in a message on Twitter, also celebrated his career. The Uruguayan claimed it was “a privilege” to have played with the Argentine, and labelled him “one of the most important midfielders of the last decade”. Not only was Mascherano a great professional, but also a “great human being”.

Sergio Busquets also joined the chorus of praise, saying on Instagram that it was “a privilege to have shared so many years with you. Congratulations on a great career and all the best for what’s coming next. You deserve it.”

Gerard Pique remarked that “it was a pleasure to share the same shirt and so many titles with you for so many years! I wish you all the best in this new stage, Mascherano.”

Andres Iniesta said “I wish you all the best in this new stage, friend. It was a pleasure to share the same shirt, to chat with you and to have met you because you’re a phenomenon!”

Xavi Hernandez, current coach of Al-Sadd in Qatar, said that “it was a pleasure and an honour to have played with you, Javier. An unsurpassed professional, humble like few others and a unique leadership ability. Congratulations on your brilliant career and good luck in your new challenges, friend.”

Born in San Lorenzo, he also represented River Plate, Corinthians, West Ham United, Liverpool, Hebei China Fortune and Estudiantes de la Plata. Mascherano represented his beloved Argentina at five Copa Americas and four World Cups.

Aside from his trophy-laden years at Camp Nou, Mascherano won the Clausura with River in 2004 and the Brasileirao with Corinthians the year later. With Argentina, he won Olympic gold medals in both 2004 and 2008. Mascherano is expected to go into coaching.

Featured image courtesy of Goal.

Tags Andres Iniesta Barcelona Gerard Pique Ivan Rakitic Javier Mascherano La Liga Lionel Messi Luis Suarez Xavi

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