Javier Mascherano's tackle on Arjen Robben that resulted in unfortunate injury

What. A. Tackle.

Javier Mascherano was both an on-pitch warrior and a world-class footballer.

For three years at Liverpool, the Argentine was one of the finest defensive midfielders on the planet.

After joining Barcelona in 2010, Mascherano was asked to operate as a centre-back and within a short space of time, he was recognised as an elite-level defender.

When it came to the pragmatic side of the sport, few players in history can lay claim to being superior to the 36-year-old.

He was a defensive master, one who thwarted the very best attackers for both club and country.

On international duty with Argentina, Mascherano well and truly excelled, making 147 appearances for the South American nation.

Mascherano with Argentina

He was a key member of the side that reached the 2014 World Cup final and in the semi-final of that tournament against Holland, the tenacious maestro produced one of the greatest tackles ever to keep the score at 0-0.

In the 90th-minute of the game, Mascherano somehow managed to stop a peak Arjen Robben inside the penalty area - and the Dutchman had a significant head start on his opponent as well.

But the Argentine's superhuman last-ditch challenge at a severe cost, with Mascherano picking up a rather unfortunate injury.

We'll let the man himself explain what happened after you've watched footage of his tackle...


"I thought I had slipped, I thought I wouldn’t make it, but I tore my anus on that move, the pain...it was terrible," Mascherano later revealed, per Independent.

"I threw myself into it. I could have been sent off. It could have been a penalty but anyone could have done that, I had the luck to get there."

Ouch. The pain may have been terrible, but at least Mascherano could revel in the fact that his anus-tearing tackle helped send Argentina to a World Cup final.

The game against Holland remained locked at 0-0 after extra-time, with La Albiceleste eventually winning the tense semi-final on penalties.

(Credit: The Football Terrace)

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