Former Barcelona and Liverpool midfielder, Javier Mascherano has announced his retirement from football.
One of his achievements in international football with Argentina was the Olympic gold medals he won with Argentina in 2004 and 2008.
💬 Javier @Mascherano "Quiero anunciar que hoy me retiro del fútbol profesionalmente, quiero agradecer a este club que me dio la oportunidad que de terminar mi carrera en Argentina" pic.twitter.com/UDU3WHwRb4— Estudiantes de La Plata (@EdelpOficial) November 15, 2020
He eventually made 147 appearances for Argentina after beginning his career at Argentine club River Plate. He remains the most capped Argentinian.
Mascherano, who enjoyed success at the top level had been playing for Estudiantes in his native Argentina, having won two Champions League and five Liga trophies during a successful eight-year period in Barcelona.
“I want to announce that today I am retiring from soccer professionally. I want to thank this club that gave me the opportunity to finish my career in Argentina,” he said on Sunday.
He also had stints with West Ham between 2006 and 2007, before joining Liverpool where he featured in the 2007 Champions League final defeat by AC Milan. He later had a spell with Chinese club Hebei China Fortune in 2018.
“It is time to finish my career because of things that happened to me these months, that on a personal level and after having thought about it for all this time, the most correct thing is to finish today. I have lived my profession 100%, I gave the most I could and Today I find that it has been difficult for me for a while and I do not want to disrespect students, who trusted me to return to Argentina, nor to my colleagues, nor to this profession. I wanted to announce it so that there is no speculation “, said Mascherano.
While noting that his decision was not based on the club’s recent run of form. Estudiantes has been only been able to grab just one point in Group E of the Primera Division from three games so far, failing to score a single goal yeat, while conceding three in the process.
“It does not have to do with the club or with a result, but with feelings that one is feeling throughout the last time, which make the illusion that one had of being a footballer fade.
“Post pandemic, I thought that the illusion was I was going to feel again, and the truth is that I couldn’t. Out of respect for everyone, it’s time to step aside and finish this race. I didn’t want to let time pass.
“I am infinitely grateful to the clubs I played for, the teammates I had throughout my career, and to Estudiantes who gave me the opportunity to come and play in recent times. It was less than what I wanted, things turned out badly. this way and sometimes one does not choose the end. I thank Desábato, the institution, and my colleagues for having put up with me this last time, “he added..
Goodwill messages pour in for Mascherano after announcing his retirement
The 36-year-old who was only able to play three games this season before hanging his booth played 555 games during his stints with Barcelona, Liverpool, Hebei China Fortune, Club Estudiantes de La Plata, West Ham United, Sport Club Corinthians Paulista, and Club Atlético River Plate.
See the outpouring commendation below from all and sundry below.
Javier Mascherano has announced his retirement.— 🅐 (@Barzaboy) November 15, 2020
Thanks for everything El Jefe! pic.twitter.com/SEXIz40Ceg
Javier Mascherano at FC Barcelona:— Amit (@SUPERLM10) November 16, 2020
• 5 La Liga
• 5 Copa del Rey
• 3 Spanish Super Cup
• 2 FIFA Club World Cup
• 2 Champions League title
• 2 UEFA Supercup
He was not only a footballer but a warrior.
Happy retirement Legend !! 👏❤️💙 pic.twitter.com/l8FEdfGF2M
❗Official — Former Barcelona legend, Javier Mascherano, has announced his retirement from football.— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) November 15, 2020
Farewell, Jefecito. You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/Enksjbc7Qi
Thank you for everything Mascherano. The heart beat of the Argentina team for a decade. The only two time Argentine gold medalist. Literally tore his anus for his country. Became a leader at Barcelona, played second fiddle and never complained. Great player. pic.twitter.com/xz8zIoTcde— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) November 15, 2020