Team Argentina was the first on to crash out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup 2018. The team lost to France by 3-4 on Friday and with this, Argentine defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano announced that he would retire from international football. The midfielder addressed the press shortly after the final whistle of the game.
He said, “It's time to say goodbye and for the younger players to step in. The whole story is over. From now on I'll be just another fan of the Argentina team. It's over. The dream has finished.” Javier happens to be the most capped player and has played four World Cups for the country. While speaking about the match Javier said, “We gave everything to the end. It was a crazy game where we did not start well before we recovered and turned it around. But their equalizer hurt us a lot."
He has played 147 matches for the country and has played for Barcelona 334 times. He has never managed to win a big tournament with Argentina but helped Argentina reach the final of the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 and 2016 Copa Americas.
Argentine Jorge Sampaoli football manager said, "I think that we adapted to necessity, rather than having a clear idea. We had a clear need and we had to win, that was our main goal. That was maybe stronger than our football concept. We have the best player in the world and we had to try to create collective situations to really use that player who can have many brilliant moments.”
"We tried many different tactics, surround him, create space for him, so we tried to use everything we had to allow him to do what he can do. Sometimes we managed it, sometimes we didn’t. [The players] fought until the end and they nearly equalised at the end and that’s what I really, really value. They worked very hard and I want to say thank you," he said on a concluding note.