Former Liverpool and Barcelona star Javier Mascherano has announced his retirement from football after a glittering 17-year career.
The 36-year-old dad-of-three revealed his decision on Sunday after his current side, top-flight Argentinian team Estudiantes de la Plata, continued their poor start to the season.
A spell with West Ham introduced the anchor man to European football although his switch became embroiled in the Hammers’ third-party ownership saga that cost the club a £5.5million fine.
He moved to Liverpool in early 2007 and went on to make 139 appearances and become a star of the side under Rafa Benitez, before signing for Barcelona three seasons later.
At the Camp Nou, Mascherano quickly settled to become an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s imperious side.
A debut season LaLiga and Champions League double was followed by four more league crowns, five Copas del Rey and another European triumph over an eight-year stay.
In total, he won 19 titles with Barcelona with his international silverware limited to two Olympic gold medals after final defeats in a World Cup and four Copa America campaigns.
His 147 appearances for Argentina makes him the country’s most-capped player ahead of Javier Zanetti.