World Cup: Argentina's Mascherano calls time on career after painful France defeat

 Argentina's Javier Mascherano looks dejected after the match.
Argentina's Javier Mascherano looks dejected after the match.PHOTO: REUTERS

KAZAN (AFP) - Argentina's most-capped player Javier Mascherano called time on his international career Saturday (June 30) after the painful World Cup defeat to France.

"It's time to say goodbye," the 34-year-old ex-Barcelona, Liverpool and West Ham midfielder said after Argentina were dumped out in a 4-3 last-16 defeat by France.

"I hope that all the lads who follow in my footsteps can achieve what they are aiming for. There are no more illusions for me," he told Argentina's TyC sports channel.

Mascherano made his international debut in 2003 and went on to appear 147 times for his country.

He played 334 times for Barcelona before leaving at the end of last season for China to join Herbei China Fortune.