Argentina’s Javier Mascherano will retire from international soccer after next year’s World Cup finals in Russia, the defender said on Thursday.
“My end point is Russia, there’s nothing after that,” Mascherano told Argentina broadcaster TyC Sports. Argentina beat Ecuador 3-1 on Tuesday to clinch a place in Russia in a must win match for the underperforming side.
The two-times champion reached the final in Brazil three years ago, losing to Germany in extra-time, while they also lost the finals of the 2015 and 2016 Copas America.
However they struggled in the qualifiers and needed a hat-trick from Lionel Messi to get them to Russia. The 33-year old Barcelona defender, who sometimes plays in midfield, said the opportunity to win a major title for his country was one of his last remaining playing ambitions.
“I don’t have that many things in my life I still want to do,” he said. “Playing in a World Cup and trying to get back to the final is one of them.”