Barcelona defender, Javier Mascherano has opened up on why he did not play well in the grade A friendly match between Nigeria and Argentina in Russia last month.
Nigeria defeated the South American giants 4-2 in the international friendly in Krasnodar.
During the match, the Nigerian forward Alex Iwobi embarrassed Mascherano with a nutmeg in the build-up to Nigeria’s fourth goal.
Mascherano told TyC Sports, ”I never excused myself from the things that were happening, I was physically depleted and that prevented me from doing some things, but I did not finish it.
“I did not put in one hundred percent as I could go, in the end you end up realizing that it is irresponsible because you can harm the team. I will not do it in a World Cup, forget, this was a friendly, and nobody obliges us to do the things we do.”
The two country are again in the same Group B of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and the defender said, “By names, people may think that it is not complicated, but by the quality of the players that each team has, it is a fairly even group.
“You have to be aware that our level now is not the best. Maybe in June, it will be something else. We have the obligation to get to the first match in the best way. If you know before six months it is going to be complicated, you have no excuses.”