Javier Mascherano walked away from Wednesday’s 2014 FIFA World Cup semifinal battered and bruised — and he was on the winning team.
The Argentina center back played a major role in his team’s victory over the Netherlands, breaking up a scoring chance by Dutch star Arjen Robben in the final minutes of regulation. That tackle came at a high cost, however, as Mascherano later revealed to reporters that he suffered a rather gruesome injury on the play.
“I tore the anus,” Mascherano said, as translated by Yahoo! Sports. “… I don’t want to sound crude. … Robben gave me an opportunity when he took a touch; he lost a second and I won. What I did anyone could have done. To be in the final, you need a bit of luck.”
Italian journalist Tancredi Palmeri has more from what must have been a bizarre postgame press conference:
Some unforgettable words from Mascherano: "I spread out my anus in that last tackle, that's why I felt so much pain"—
Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) July 10, 2014
Making matters worse for Mascherano was the fact that he probably shouldn’t have even been in the game at that point. He was involved in a gnarly head-to-head collision in the first half and, many argued, likely should have been removed for his own safety.
I fear for Mascherano right now. He has no clue what he is doing and because FIFA has no backbone to stand up and legislate it's trouble.—
Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) July 09, 2014
Argentina will play Germany on Sunday in the World Cup final, but it remains to be seen if Mascherano will be fit enough to play. After his unfortunate adventure in the semis, that seems doubtful.
Photo via Twitter/@TheBuzzeronFOX