The most capped Argentina player was acclaimed by a former Barcelona and national teammate after deciding to hang up his boots.
Former Liverpool and FC Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano recently announced that he was calling time on his illustrious career.
The 36-year-old publicized his intention on Sunday in a press conference after Estudiantes’s Argentine Primera Division defeat to Argentinos Juniors.
A defensive midfielder by trade, he started his career at River Plate before joining Corinthians and then move to the Premier League. He joined Liverpool after spending just a year at West Ham and then headed to Barcelona in 2010.
Mascherano enjoyed immense success at Barca, winning two Champions League crowns, a pair of Club World Cup titles, and five of each La Liga and the Copa del Rey trophies.
The news of his retirement did not go unnoticed by his former colleagues, with Lionel Messi sending a heartfelt message to a player he shared the dressing room with for eight years.
Fernando Gago, another great symbol of the Argentine national team of the last 15 years, also announced his retirement recently, with Messi paying tribute to him as well.
“Two people who I’ve spent and enjoyed a lot of time with are leaving football and I want to send them a message,” Messi wrote in an Instagram post.
“Fer, I hope everything goes well for you. We’ve known each other since we were 17. It was my pleasure to share a dressing room with you for the national team and to play against you. You know that. I hope all goes well and that you can keep fulfilling your dreams.
“And what to say, Masche. We were together for so many years, seeing each other every day and sharing so much. We had very happy moments and some tough ones too with both Argentina and Barcelona. We’ve missed you since you left. I wish the best for you and your family.”