Javier Mascherano has retired from international duty, with the 32-year-old calling time on his Argentina career after losing their third final in as many years.
The Liverpool legend – who was at the club from 2007-2010 – has followed Lionel Messi into retirement (via the Daily Mail), with the Barcelona duo shocking the world after the Copa America final.
Mascherano tampoco continuará en la Selección Argentina. pic.twitter.com/IBVcypxfiP
— SportsCenter (@SC_ESPN) June 27, 2016
Despite being just 29-years-old, Messi has retired from the international team after yet another failure in the Copa America. He claimed his goal with Argentina was to win, and their inability to do that has contributed to his decision.
Mascherano is yet to make an announcement on his retirement, but his advanced years plus Argentina’s struggles are no doubt the main contributing factors. He’d be 34 by the time the next World Cup comes around, and clearly he feels now is the right time to step down.
The Barcelona defender has been a key player for Argentina over the last few years, and his exit will certainly be a problem for them. The report suggests a number of players could follow Messi and Mashcerano into retirement, so we could see the dissolution of this current Argentina side.
It’s unclear whether both players were planning to retire regardless of whether they were to win or lose, but the fact that they missed out on yet another Copa America title after losing on penalties to the holders, Chile, may well have played a part.