Mascherano, Argentina’s captain without the armband

July 9, 2014 at 4:04 pm
Posted under: 2014 FIFA World Cup, Argentina, Argentina News, Netherlands, Netherlands News, News

Argentina's national soccer team players Javier Mascherano (C) and Gonzalo Higuain talk as teammate Pablo Zabaleta (L) passes by during a training session ahead of their 2014 World Cup semi-final match against the Netherlands, in Vespasiano July 6, 2014.  REUTERS/Gil Leonardi (BRAZIL  - Tags:  SOCCER SPORT WORLD CUP)
Argentina's national soccer team players Javier Mascherano (C) and Gonzalo Higuain talk as teammate Pablo Zabaleta (L) passes by during a training session ahead of their 2014 World Cup semi-final match against the Netherlands, in Vespasiano July 6, 2014. REUTERS/Gil Leonardi (BRAZIL - Tags: SOCCER SPORT WORLD CUP)

Copa America, 2011: Argentina’s Javier Mascherano hands the captain’s armband to Lionel Messi after being sent off late in regulation time in the quarterfinal against Uruguay. Argentina loses the ensuing penalty shootout as the host nation is eliminated from the tournament.

Since that bitter moment, Messi has held on to the captaincy of Argentina, but Mascherano remains the inspirational voice in the locker room.

Known as “jefecito,” or little boss, the 5-foot-6-inch (171-centimeter) defensive midfielder has fired up Argentina for what has become its best World Cup run since 1990.

As Argentina prepares to face Netherlands in the World Cup semifinals, Mascherano says: “We’re in a place where Argentina hasn’t been for a long time. These opportunities come only so often and you can’t let them go by.”

SAPA


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