Mascherano to quit Argentina after 2018 WC

Mascherano to quit Argentina after 2018 WC

The 33-year old Barcelona defender, who sometimes plays in midfield, said the opportunity to win a major title for his country was one of his last remaining playing ambitions. I still have a contract with the club and they have shown they are happy with me, but I haven't spoken with anyone yet. "And I was really calm because I knew the match would come to our side, even if they didn't get a great start. I will try to fight for my place and to be ready when I'm called upon", he told ESPN. When you have better players ahead of you in the pecking order, you accept it and try to turn the situation around. The La Liga giants have a first refusal to sign the Colombian global for €9m (£8m, $10.6m) but it is still uncertain whether they will activate that option in the middle or end of the season.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has preferred a centre back pairing of Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique in the Champions League, both of whom Mascherano graciously described as more accomplished players.

The 30-year-old was Argentina's hero in their 3-1 win in their final Federation Internationale de Football Association 2018 World Cup qualifier on Wednesday morning, when he scored a hat-trick to secure his side's place at the tournament in Russia.

"I am fully committed to the national team".