One of the most decorated soccer players of the past two decades announced his retirement on Sunday, ending a career which saw him win 21 major trophies.
Javier Mascherano, who is best known for his performances on the international stage with Argentina and his club stints with FC Barcelona and Liverpool, announced his decision at the conclusion of Sunday’s game for his most recent club, Estudiantes LP in Argentina.
The 36-year-old player, who played as both a defensive midfielder and a center-back, explained that he simply didn’t feel capable of giving 100% due to physical limitations. “I lived my profession 100%, to the maximum that I possibly can, and for a while now that has been getting harder,” he said. “Sometimes you don’t choose the end, it happens all by itself.”
Mascherano, who spent the majority of his career with FC Barcelona where he was a key part of the teams which won five La Liga titles and two Champions League crowns during his tenure, was known for his toughness and technical ability.
He also made 147 caps for the Argentinian national team from 2003 to 2018, where he won 2 Olympic gold medals.
His legacy is one that places him in the upper echelon of South American soccer players to ever play the game.