Former Argentine and Liverpool star Javier Mascherano has announced his retirement from football at the age of 36.

Mascherano has been playing his football for Estudiantes in Argentina after a career that saw him play at Anfield as well as West Ham and Barcelona.

He thanked his club for giving him the opportunity to finish his career in his home country.

The 36-year-old said: “I want to announce today that I am retiring from soccer professionally, I want to thank this club that gave me the opportunity to finish my career in Argentina.”

Mascherano joined Liverpool from West Ham in 2007 on a one-year loan deal which was soon made permanent in January 2008.

The Argentine impressed in his time on Merseyside and featured in the 2007 Champions League final defeat to AC Milan.

He went on to make 139 appearances for Rafael Benitez’s Reds and was a fan favourite from the get-go thanks to his ruthless, hard-tackling style of play.

Liverpool’s official twitter account paid tribute to their former player tweeting: “All the best in your retirement, Javier Mascherano.”

Mascherano then got his dream move in 2010 joining Barcelona on a deal worth around £25 million.

This would be the peak of his career as he went on to make 334 appearances for the Spanish giants.

He won five League titles, two Champions Leagues, two FIFA Club World Cups, two UEFA Super cups, three Supercopa de Espana and five Copa del Reys.

Barcelona’s official twitter account tweeted: “Thanks for the legacy you have left in the world of football, and especially at Barca, @mascherano. You will always be one of us.”

The end of his long profession saw Mascherano move to Hebei China who play in the Chinese Super League before finishing his career in his home country with a move to Estudiantes at the start of this year.

Not only will Mascherano be remembered in the history books at club football but also at International level.

The 36-year-old is the most capped player in the history of Argentina with 147 appearances and earned himself a World Cup runner up medal after losing in the 2014 final against Germany.

He did however pick up two Olympic gold medals with the national team and made his final ever international appearance in the 4-3 round of 16 defeat to France in the 2018 World Cup.

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