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Mascherano chosen to lead

05 Nov 2008 - 12:56:44

New Argentina coach Diego Maradona wants Liverpool's midfield hardman Javier Mascherano to be the captain of his national team.

The 24-year-old has been backed by Maradona to take on the top job, although the player himself is waiting to hold talks over his possible new role.

Maradona was quoted as saying: "I want Mascherano to be my captain because I believe he is the Argentinian player who is closest to the idea I have about the Argentinian shirt.

"Sweat for it, sacrifice for it, being a professional, being close to the team-mate. I will convince him. He will be my captain."

However, Mascherano refused to be drawn on the topic, adding on Sky Sports News: "For respect I don't want to talk about this, but obviously we will see. I need to talk with Diego to know what he wants."

Mascherano's club manager, Rafa Benitez, has no doubts that his player has the qualities needed to lead his country.

"Mascherano has the character and mentality to be a captain," the Spaniard said. "It is an important situation for anyone, to captain their country.

"If someone says to you that you can be captain of England or Argentina or Spain, it is a massive honour because they are big, big countries.

"If he has the chance, he could do it."


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