Javier Mascherano calls it quits and announces his retirement from football

Javier Mascherano has decided to take a bow from the beautiful game. He returned to his homeland in January and was contracted to Estudiantes until the end of the season, but he is hanging up his boots now
Javier Mascherano Estudiantes 15/11/2020
© Estudiantes

This is coming after a stellar career with some of the best clubs in the world of football. His 17-year career span included some of the top dogs in both European and South American football. The ex-player officially announced his retirement today. 

He played in the defensive midfield role at the start of his career at the Argentinian club giants River Plate in 2003,

he later made a move to Brazilian side Corinthians Before making the move out of his home continent to the Premier League in England. 

The move to the East London side was a short one because he had caught the eye of Liverpool’s coach Rafael Benitez which in turn sparked a move to the Merseyside giants. He spent three years at the club before being whisked away by Spanish giants Barcelona. It was at this club he enjoyed a lot of trophy laden seasons. He has had the honor of playing alongside the likes of Lionel MessiAndries IniestaXavi Hernandezjust to  name a few. 

He won five La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies in his impressive locker during his eight-year spell at Camp Nou before he was lured to Hebei China Fortune.

The 36-year-old returned to Argentina in other to be closer with his roots and also to reconnect with former Argentinian national team-mate Sebastian Veron, who is presently the club’s chairman. 

Despite being a regular for the Superliga Side in the recent games played he felt it was time he ended his stellar career. He currently had a contract running till the end of June 2021, but that didn’t deter him from making his decision.  

He said at a press conference: “It is time to finish my career because of things that happened to me in recent months, that on a personal level and after having thought about it for all this time, the most correct thing is to finish today. 

“I have lived my profession 100 per cent, I gave the best I could and today I find that it has been difficult for me for a while and I do not want to disrespect Estudiantes, who trusted me to return to Argentina, or my colleagues, or this profession. 

“It does not have to do with the club or with a result, but with feelings that one is feeling over recent times, which make the illusion that one had of being a footballer fade. 

“Post pandemic, I thought that I was going to feel the spark again, but the truth is that I could not. Out of respect for everyone, it is time to step aside and end this race. I didn’t want to let time go by. 

“I am infinitely grateful to the clubs I played for, the team-mates I had throughout my career and to Estudiantes who gave me the opportunity to come and play in recent times. It was less than I expected, things happened this way and sometimes you don’t choose the end. 

“I thank [coach Leandro] Desabato, the institution and my colleagues for having put up with me this last time.” 

In total, Mascherano featured in 556 games, scoring four goals and supplying 26 assists.