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Javier Mascherano: Former Liverpool and Barcelona midfielder retires

Former Liverpool and Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano has announced his retirement from football at the age of 36.

Mascherano, the most capped player in Argentina’s history, made the announcement in a press conference at his current club, Estudiantes.

Mascherano said: “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.”

Thanks for the legacy you have left in the world of football, and especially at Barça, @Mascherano. You will always be one of us. 💙❤️ pic.twitter.com/u0CcWsYpoS

After a controversial move to West Ham alongside Carlos Tevez in 2006, Mascherano moved on to Anfield, where his initial loan deal was made permanent.

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The Argentine impressed under manager Rafael Benitez with his trademark, hard-tackling style of play and made 139 appearances in a successful three-year spell for Liverpool.

Mascherano then got his wish to move to the Nou Camp, joining Barcelona for a fee in the region of £25m in 2010.

He won two Champions League titles and a pair of Club World Cup titles with Barcelona, along with five wins each in La Liga and the Copa del Rey.

He also played a pivotal role in Argentina’s 2014 World Cup campaign which saw them reach the final, but suffered extra-time defeat to Germany in Brazil.

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