Gary Lineker: Former Liverpool man was 'immense'

Javier Mascherano Argentina

The England legend was full of praise for Javier Mascherano after Argentina's win over the Netherlands.

Mascherano and his team-mates knocked Louis van Gaal's side out of the World Cup on penalties, with their semi-final finishing goalless after 120 minutes.

A cagey affair, the clash might not have impressed many neutrals, though it was the perfect stage for a defensive midfielder like Mascherano to shine.

The Barcelona man, formerly of Liverpool before his €24m move in 2010, was the recipient of plenty of praise on Twitter, with Gary Lineker particularly keen to single him out.

On a night when many were expecting Lionel Messi or Arjen Robben to steal the show, 30-year-old Mascherano was one of the best players on the pitch.

The Argentine had enjoyed a strong World Cup showing in the lead up to the last four - and Opta stats show that Lineker wasn't wrong to offer Mascherano his compliments.

  TeamPosTackles WonInterceptions WonAccurate PassesPass Accuracy (%)AppsMins
Javier Mascherano Argentina MF 4 3 74 84.09 1 120

Against the Dutch, the ex-Liverpool midfielder won four tackles, three interceptions and completed 84% of his passes.

But, while that passing accuracy may not be the most impressive, the amount of accurate passes he completed (74) was the second-highest total of anyone across both World Cup semi-finals.

Next up for Mascherano and his countrymen are Germany in the final - the side that just thumped hosts Brazil 7-1 in the last four. No pressure, Javier...

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch