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Mascherano wants more credit in Argentina

The hard-working Argentine has been a consistent performer since his switch to Camp Nou in 2010 and was often deployed as a centre-back under Pep Guardiola.

However, since his move to Spain, the 28-year-old believes his stock has decreased in his homeland and is adamant he deserves more praise than what he is receiving.

"I despise it," he confessed to ESPN Rivadavia. "This is the most criticism that I have received. They don't talk about what I do for my club, as though anyone plays for Barcelona."

However, he appears resigned to the fact the Argentina fans appreciate players’ efforts for the national side above anything else.

"But I accept it. That's football. It's a game, and we don't have to make it a tragedy. If a player is criticised, the player should not come out with criticism.

"You have to think things through before speaking. Personally, I prefer silence to saying something I'll regret."

By Josh Butler