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Mascherano, Iniesta Confirm Retirement From International Football Following World Cup Exit



Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano has retired from international duty following their World Cup exit.

The 34-year-old made 145 appearances for Argentina, including their dramatic 4-3 defeat by France in the last 16 on Saturday.

Mascherano played every minute of Argentina’s games at this year’s World Cup – his fourth successive tournament.

He told DeportTV: “Personally, for me now it’s over. From now on I’m just one more Argentina fan.”

The double Olympic champion made his senior debut in 2003 and began his career at Argentine club River Plate.

He played for West Ham from 2006 to 2007, leaving to join Liverpool where he featured in the 2007 Champions League final defeat by AC Milan.

Mascherano played for Barcelona from 2010 to this January, winning the Champions League twice and being part of squads that won La Liga on five occasions.

He is currently with Chinese club Hebei China Fortune.


Andres Iniesta has confirmed his international retirement after Spain’s shock penalty shoot-out defeat to Russia resulted in their World Cup elimination. Spain joined the likes of Germany, Portugal and Argentina in making an early exit when Igor Akinfeev kept out Iago Aspas’ penalty in Moscow.

Iniesta started on the bench on Sunday, coming on midway through the second half as Spain attempted to retake the lead cancelled out by Artem Dzyuba’s spot-kick, but could not inspire a victory.

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And the 34-year-old, who will now join Vissel Kobe after calling time on his Barcelona career, confirmed he has played his final game for Spain. “It’s a reality that this is my last game with the national team, on a wonderful stage,” Iniesta, who scored the winner in Spain’s World Cup final victory over Netherlands in 2010, said.

“The endings are not always the way we dream. The national team will continue to be successful because of the level of players we have and that is what they should try. It would be an advantage to say that Lopetegui’s thing has to do with the result, in the end those of us who have the ball are the players. The main culprits in football are the players that are the ones on the field” he said.