Javier Mascherano integral part of Argentine

Javier Mascherano was part of the Argentine team that lost 1-0 to Germany in the World Cup 2014 final.

The midfielder may have just turned 30 years of age, but he remains an integral part of the Argentina team. He has the right mixture of experience and playing capabilities to be a force even at the next World Cup. The Barcelona defender, though, has revealed that he considered the possibility of retiring from international duty after the World Cup. Since making his debut in 2003, Mascherano has gone on to make more than 100 appearances for the national team.

Since the move to Barcelona in 2010, Mascherano has been playing as a defender. This versatility is also a huge boon for Argentina manager Gerardo Martino. Lionel Messi may be the reigning captain of the Argentina national team, but Mascherano remains one of the leaders on the pitch. After the World Cup 2014, several top players like Miroslav Klose and Philipp Lahm announced their international retirement. This came after they managed to win the ultimate prize in world football – World Cup. Mascherano says that if Argentina had been successful in the final, he would have not thought twice about retiring.

Argentina have been inconsistent under Martino and their recent friendly against Portugal ended in a 1-0 defeat.“It’s not easy to leave the national team, it’s not a decision you can make overnight. You have to be very sure, there’s no return from such decision. I was 50-50.I didn’t get to do what Philipp Lahm and Miroslav Klose did: retire as a World Champion. But perhaps I had the chance to leave with a positive image. But I think I still have time left. I don’t only say that from a personal point of view, I also see people by my side who are eager to achieve something,” said Mascherano.