Javier Mascherano will move on from Argentina after the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

By 90Min
October 11, 2017

Barcelona and Argentina veteran Javier Mascherano has announced his intention to retire from international football following next summer's World Cup in Russia.

The centre-back/defensive midfielder will celebrate his 34th birthday shortly before the tournament is due to kick off in June and may be looking to prolong his club career by calling time on Argentina duties, which began in 2003.

"For a lot of people the story could have finished today, but thanks to god it was not like this," a relieved Mascherano told the media after Lionel Messi's hat-trick secured a World Cup place for La Albiceleste in the final qualifying game against Ecuador.

"If I get to Russia, that will be the end. I know that for sure," he added.

Mascherano, won has won two Olympic gold medals with Argentina's Under-23 team, has played 139 times for his country at senior level. He has been to eight major tournaments in total, with next summer's World Cup set to be his ninth overall if he is selected.

He went to his first World Cup in 2006 and has also played in 2010 and 2014. Mascherano and Argentina reached the final in the latter tournament, but he is yet to experience tournament success at senior international level and will be hoping to go out with a bang next year.

At club level, Mascherano remains one of the most decorated players of his generation after winning six league titles across three different countries, four Copa del Reys in Spain, two Champions League title and two FIFA Club World Cups.

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