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Javier Mascherano was a force to reckon with in the Argentina national team at the World Cup 2014. He was a major reason behind the team reaching the final of the competition. He almost single-handedly helped Argentina keep the Dutch at bay in the semifinals. The Latin American team eventually won the match on penalties to play against Germany in the final. Argentina’s hopes of winning the first World Cup title since the 1986 win were dashed after a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Joachim Loew’s team.
Argentina failed to create many opportunities in the match, while the goal from Mario Gotze was enough to seal the victory. After the match, a very disappointed Mascherano spoke about having to bear the scars of failure for the rest of his life. Lionel Messi was named as the player tournament, but he was extremely dejected while picking up the award. The same was the case with every other Argentina player and fan. Mascherano would have joined the elite band of players to have lifted every major title at club and international level.
As it is, Argentina may have to wait another four years before they can dream of winning the title. Diego Maradona was part of the team that won the title in 1986.
“Unfortunately the pain will be there for life because this was our chance. It is difficult to explain. It escaped from us at the last minute, we did everything to try and win. We had the best chances until we ran out of gas. The pain is immense because we wanted to take the World Cup back to Argentina but we gave everything. We are empty – we gave what we had and we are sorry for ourselves, for the people that came here and for the people that are in Argentina,” said Mascherano.
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James Milner has come out in defence of captain Vincent Kompany after the Belgian international had a horrible match against Liverpool during the weekend. The Belgian has been one of the important players for Manchester City since coming to the club in 2008. He has been promoted to the role of being the captain after a string of impressive seasons. Right now, he is regarded as one of the best defenders of the world, but he was at fault for all the three goals conceded by his team against Liverpool during the weekend.
The 3-2 defeat suffered against Liverpool puts City at a huge disadvantage in the title race. Kompany committed errors that led to the first two goals, but his massive error came just 10 minutes before the final whistle when he sliced a clearance onto the path of Liverpool midfielder Coutinho, who took the chance with aplomb. However, Milner has said that such errors were extremely common and that people should not forget the role played by Kompany in several title winning campaigns. Kompany was set to miss the match, but manager Manuel Pellegrini brought him much earlier than expected.
The manager said that he does not regret the decision to include Kompany after he had just hobbled out of training in the previous day.
“Obviously he is disappointed. You can’t blame Vinny, everybody makes mistakes. Vinny has been outstanding for us. I’ve been at the club for four years and he’s been absolutely outstanding. You can’t say anything like that because of the amount of times he’s saved us as well. It’s one of those things. We had the chance down at the other end to put it away and grab a draw but it wasn’t to be and now it’s not in our hands,” said Milner.
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Some of the recent Manchester City’s results of the Premier League has seen them losing against Chelsea and having to settle with a goalless draw against Norwich City. James Milner suggested his team not to dwell too much on those results and to focus on the next matches.
‘’There’s a long way to go yet in the league. We’ve just got to keep going and keep playing the right way and we know the goals will come,” Milner said.
“You see how tight the league is at the top and the bottom and everyone is scrapping for points and a win can make a big difference in your position in the league,” he added.
Manuel Pellegrini has to cope with a number of injuries that include: Fernandinho, Aguero and Nasri all struggling with physical problems and Milner is hoping that the tactician will be given a chance to play on the spot where Yaya Toure and Fernandinho have been forming a partnership throughout this entire season.
“I think that’s my best position and where I enjoy playing,” Milner explained. “You’re always in the thick of the action. All I can do is play as well as I can when I get that chance and hopefully get a few more chances in the middle as well and hopefully contribute to Manchester City winning a few trophies.” Milner said.
The 28 years old midfielder has also confessed that he doesn’t give much thought of the matter of being called boring as long as it keeps him and his team at the top of the Premier League and earn them silverware.
‘’If people think I’m boring, well, as long as I’ve got a Premier League winners’ medal I don’t really mind being as boring as you want’’. Milner stated.