Javier Mascherano has announced that the time has come for ‘El Jefecito’ to hang up the boots and retire from the game. The 36-year-old surprised many with the announcement which brings 17 years of activity to an end.
The player played his last game on Sunday night as his Estudiantes de La Plata side fell 0-1 away to Argentinos Juniors in the Copa de la Liga Profesional Argentina.
In a press conference post game, the player stated: “I’d like to confirm, that as of today, I’ve retired from playing professional football and I’d like to thank the club (Estudiantes) for permitting me to be able to end my career here in Argentina”.
He added: “I feel it’s the right time to make this decision for the feelings that I have been having”.
Mascherano calls time on a dazzling career where he won two Olympic gold medals at the Athens games in 2004 and in Beijing (2008) along with a World Cup runners-up medal in 2014 with the ‘Albeceleste’.
At club level, the 36-year-old won one Torneo Clausura with River Plate, a Brazilian league medal with Corinthians along with 19 titles in his time with FC Barcelona: five LaLiga titles, five Copas del Rey, three Spanish Super Cups, two Champions League wins, two UEFA Super Cups and two FIFA Club World Cup winners medals.
The San Lorenzo born player won 147 caps for the national side along with spells in the Premier League with West Ham and Liverpool along with a brief stint with Hebei China Fortune before returning to Argentina.