Javier Mascherano's World Cup tackle on Arjen Robben that resulted in horrific injury

Mascherano's tackle on Robben saved Argentina

Javier Mascherano was an absolute warrior on the pitch throughout the entirety of his glittering career.

At club level, the 37-year-old was among the world's best defensive midfielders at Liverpool between 2007 and 2010, before transforming into a brilliant centre-back at Barcelona.

Mascherano also excelled on the international stage with Argentina and was a key part of the squad that finished as runners-up at the 2014 World Cup.

In fact, the South American nation probably wouldn't have reached the final out in Brazil had it not been for the two-time Olympic champion.

During the tense semi-final versus Holland at that tournament, Mascherano performed one of the greatest last-ditch tackles in World Cup history to thwart Arjen Robben in the 90th-minute of the match.

With the scores level at 0-0, the Dutch team's talisman looked certain to score the winner after bursting into the box.

Robben & Mascherano in action

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But despite having a head start on the opposition, Robben was unable to get a shot away on his trusty left peg due to a superhuman-like challenge by Mascherano.

However, the tackle - which you can watch in all its glory in the video below - came at a terrible cost for the pragmatic master...

Video: Mascherano's World Cup-saving tackle on Robben

Okay, now that you've watched the iconic challenge, we'll let Mascherano explain the horrific consequences of it.

"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 stated, 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."

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Now that's what you call putting your body on the line! Despite the fact he must've been in agony following his anus-tearing heroics, Mascherano didn't ask to be substituted - even throughout the course of extra-time.

Argentina eventually prevailed in the penalty shootout, with Maxi Rodriguez netting the decisive spot-kick after Sergio Romero had saved efforts from Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder.

Quiz: Can you name the footballer based on their Wikipedia page?

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Who moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid in 2000?

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