Mascherano retires from international football after World Cup exit
The 34-year-old played in all four of Argentina’s games at the tournament but could not prevent their elimination at the round of 16, France forward Kylian Mbappe scoring twice in the second half of a thrilling knockout tie.
Mascherano has been a mainstay for the national team for well over a decade and his selection for Russia saw him appear at a fourth World Cup.
However, following the defeat in Kazan, he told reporters: “It’s time to say goodbye and encourage from the outside.
“In football you often do not get the things you want, but the important thing is not be criticised for anything.
“We have given everything, we had a great rival.”
The former Barcelona and Liverpool midfielder – who now plays his club football in China – also offered a message of hope for Argentina’s future, adding: “Keep insisting. Sooner or later it will happen.”