Javier Mascherano has won every trophy imaginable with Barcelona, but when playing with Argentina, he always seems to finish in second place.
Yesterday’s loss to Chile in penalty kicks marks the third time Mascherano finished runner-up in the Copa America tournament, adding onto Argentina’s extra-time loss to Germany in the World Cup final last summer.
[ RECAP: Chile claims Copa America title ]
At 31-years-old and already with more than 100 caps for Argentina, Mascherano knows he is running out of time to win a trophy for his country. Following the loss against Chile, Mascherano called the defeat “torture.”
Losing is torture, it’s a huge sadness.
We had a good Copa America, we played a final as visitors and were up to it. Again we lacked that quota of luck to win, I really can’t find an explanation.
I’m one of the oldest players in this squad. We have to accept what happened, unfortunately we couldn’t give the fans what we wanted to.
Chile are a very good team but I think we neutralized them, we played the match we wanted to … We had moves to win it and unfortunately it wasn’t to be. The pain is immense and only gets worse.”
On a team known for captain Lionel Messi and other attacking stars, Mascherano has quietly gone about his job as Argentina’s best and most important player. Originally a defensive midfielder, he has shifted to central defense, shutting down the opposition’s best attackers while also controlling the tempo of play for Argentina.
Despite winning two Olympic gold medals for his country, there are few more deserving than Mascherano to win a major trophy.