Jose Pekerman: Japan deserved to beat Colombia

Colombia manager Jose Pekerman has admitted that Japan were the better team in the World Cup encounter and deserved to beat the South American outfit. Colombia witnessed Carlos Sanchez sent off in just the third minute after denying a clear goalscoring opportunity with his hand and shortly after, Shinji Kagawa converted the resultant penalty.

Thereafter, Japan had the better chances to find the scoresheet but Juan Quintero pulled things level for Colombia with a brilliant free-kick prior to the break. Despite this, Japan continued to push for the winner amid the tired legs in the opposition side and Yuya Osako bagged the match-winning goal for the Samurai Blue in the 73rd minute.

Argentina Chief: Lionel Messi Cannot Win World Cup By His Own

Argentine Football Association president Claudio Tapia has said that Lionel Messi has the ambition to win the World Cup, but this may not be possible unless his teammates perform to the best of their abilities. Messi cut a frustrated figure after witnessing Argentina lost 1-0 to Germany at the 2014 World Cup, and he has since experienced further disappointments with the nation being defeated by Chile on penalties in the 2015 and 2016 editions of the Copa America.

Javier Mascherano: Playing at centre-back for Barcelona was a thankless task

Argentina international Javier Mascherano has revealed that it was a thankless task of playing in central defence during his seven-and-a-half year spell with Barcelona. The 33-year-old ended his long-term association with the Catalan giants to join Chinese outfit Hebei Fortune last month.
In an exclusive interview with Gerard Pique for The Players' Tribune, Mascherano admitted that he contemplated leaving Barcelona on several occasions previously as he wanted to enjoy more playing time in the central midfield role.

He said: "Let's just say my time at Barcelona is one of contrast in that regard. Because the best years of my career, where I could enjoy myself the most [were at Barcelona], I felt complete as a footballer, but I didn't get the chance to play as a midfielder. But [maybe] that is as if your glass is half empty. Those were the cards which were dealt. But when I had doubts about leaving before, that was why. No one knows better than you [Pique] how thankless a task it is to be a Barca defender. One mistake and you pay dearly."

Mascherano thinking of finishing career at River Plate

Javier Mascherano has revealed that he has designs on returning back home to his first club River Plate in Argentina before he retires from the game but he does not want to make such a promise if he isn’t unable to keep to it.

The Barcelona defender started his professional career with River Plate before moving to Corinthians. He then went on to play for West Ham and Liverpool in England before ending up at the Nou Camp.

Lionel Messi makes personal plea to Valverde over Javier Mascherano

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is understood to have made a personal plea to manager Ernesto Valverde to involve Javier Mascherano regularly in his first-team plans.


The former Liverpool man has not featured for Barca since the opening day victory over Real Betis with Gerard Pique and Samuel Emtiti having cemented their places at the heart of the defence.

With the World Cup coming along next year, Mascherano would require regular playing time to get into the Argentina squad, and Messi appears to be doing everything within his reach in order to better his compatriot's chances.

Javier Mascherano, Lionel Messi back Angel di Maria move

Barcelona pair Javier Mascherano and Lionel Messi have given the backing to pursue fellow Argentine compatriot Angel di Maria from Paris Saint-Germain this summer.


The 29-year-old's future at Parc des Princes has been thrown into doubt following the world-record signing of Neymar.

According to Sport, the Catalan giants could turn their attention to the former Real Madrid man after failing to negotiate deals for both Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele. The Argentine has had a good bond alongside Mascherano and Messi at the international level and the duo have given the thumbs-up for his possible arrival regardless of his former links with Los Blancos.

MASCHERANO'S MOVE TO JUVENTUS BLOCKED

The Real Madrid main rivals, Barcelona, have blocked the Italian Serie A champions, Juventus from completing the summer transfer of the Argentinian star, Javier Mascherano.


The Spanish club refused to sell the defender after summer pursuit from Serie A champions for another key defender.

Juve, who trashed out Barcelona from the last UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals have been trying to strike a deal for the Argentine man all summer as they are looking forward to strengthening their squad to be stronger in Europe next season.

BARCELONA WANT HERRERA

According to Sport, Barcelona want Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera following his impressive season at Old Trafford.


The incoming boss Ernesto Valverde who is set to take over the reins from Luis Enrique wants a reunion with Herrera.

Javier Mascherano doesn’t think that Neymar should be Punished

Javier Mascherano doesn’t think that Neymar deserves to be handed the harshest of the punishments for his actions during the Liga game at La Rosaleda the previous Saturday.


Neymar had tried to make fun of the officials by clapping at one of their decisions which went against Barcelona and it didn’t please the referee in charge who immediately gave marching orders to the winger.

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