Mascherano retires from international football after World Cup exit

Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano called time on his international career after his side were knocked out of the World Cup by France.

The 34-year-old Javier Mascherano played in all four of Argentina's games at the 2018 World Cup.   -  Getty Images

Javier Mascherano announced his retirement from international football in the aftermath of Argentina's 4-3 defeat to France at the World Cup.

The 34-year-old played in all four of Argentina's games at the tournament but could not prevent its elimination at the round of 16, with France forward Kylian Mbappe scoring twice in the second half of a thrilling knockout tie.

Read: Mbappe matches Brazil great's 60-year-old World Cup record

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."

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