Javier Mascherano

Javier Mascherano is quickly dispelling the myth that Argentina are a one man team.

Although Lionel Messi might carry his country in an attacking sense, Mascherano does magnificent defensive work that often goes unnoticed.

The defensive midfield role he plays for Argentina suits him much better to the central defence he plays for Barcelona as he breaks up attacks expertly.

His passion for his country is clearly evident, epitomised by an outstanding block on Arjen Robben in the final moments of their semi-final clash which prevented a certain goal. Just minutes before he had been knocked unconscious after a clash of heads with Dutch player Georginio Wijnaldum.

His performance against Netherlands was so impressive that Diego Maradona described it as "Mascherano plus 10 men."

The former Liverpool man has the remarkable state of making the most tackles, 28, and most passes, 509 with 90% accuracy, during the tournament. He has also played every minute of Argentina's campaign.



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