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Former Barcelona defender Javier Mascherano has matched the all-time record for Argentina caps. The 33-year-old made his 142nd appearance on Tuesday night, bringing him level with record holder Javier Zanetti.

Former Inter midfielder Zanetti, who made in excess of 850 appearances for the Italian giants, earned his caps for Argentina between 1994 and 2011. He was named in the Argentine Football Association 'Team of All Time' back in 2015.

His achievements as a player make Mascherano's recent achievement all the more impressive. Mascherano earned his record-equaling 142nd cap on Tuesday night, as Argentina lost 6-1 to Spain in a pre-World Cup friendly at Atlético Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano stadium.

Mascherano, who also played for West Ham and Liverpool, made his debut for Argentina in 2004 as he was named in the squad for that year's Copa América. His performances were so impressive that his teammates named him Argentina's Player of the Tournament.

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The midfielder now plays for Chinese side Hebei China Fortune, having moved there from Barcelona in January after claiming he no longer 'felt important' within the Catalan squad.


On the international stage, Mascherano has won two Olympic gold medals - in 2004 and 2008 - and has received five Copa América runners-up medals and a runners-up medal for the 2014 World Cup.

Mascherano looks certain to break the record ahead of this summer's World Cup. The Argentines face Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria in their World Cup group and will hope to progress to the knockout stages.

He will be in search of his first World Cup winner's medal this summer as his career on the international stages draws ever closer to its end.