Argentina ready to end 22-year trophy drought: Mascherano

Santiago, June 13 (IANS) Ace Argentina defender Javier Mascherano on Saturday insisted that his team has the talent and the obligation to break a 22-year trophy drought by winning the Copa America which began on Thursday.

The 1993 edition of the Copa America was Argentina’s last major international honour, and Mascherano said that the current generation of players are good enough to break that barren run.

“It’s not a matter of egos, but each of us needs to win something with the national team. We want to consolidate the work that has been done in the last few years and it would be very good to add a cup to that second-place finish in Brazil (2014 World Cup),” Mascherano was quoted as saying by sport.bt.com.

“The national team is all set to win the title. If you check through the names we have a great team. That allows you to start dreaming.”

Mascherano, who served as Argentina captain from 2008-11, explained that his team owed a duty to its nation.

“There are pressure and a responsibility that we have at a moral level with our football,” he commented.

“At the end of the day, the idea is to show all the good that we can do with the shirt of our country, who helped us grow and gave us a little bit of everything. We give back through our football.”

The 31-year-old also took the time to praise the ambitious style of coach Gerardo Martino, whom he also played under at FC Barcelona during the 2013-14 season.

“As we put more players into the attack we will take more risks, but we will have more chances too,” the Argentina vice-captain added.

“Martino has brave ideas. I’ve been playing like this for seven years at Barcelona, but in the national team it requires a lot more work. Only over time will this system work,” Mascherano concluded.

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