Former Barcelona and Liverpool player Javier Mascherano is to take over as coach of Argentina’s Under-20 team in January.
The 37-year-old will succeed Fernando Batista who leaves the role to join newly-appointed Venezuelan national team coach Jose Pekerman’s backroom staff.
Mascherano’s appointment will be the first coaching job for Argentina’s second most-capped player and the only Argentine player to win Olympic gold twice (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008).
He also appeared in four World Cups – Germany 2006, South Africa 2010, Brazil 2014 (where Argentina finished runners-up to Germany) and Russia 2018.
During a 17-year club career, Mascherano spent time with West Ham and Liverpool, before being transferred in 2010 to Barcelona, where he spent an illustrious eight seasons, winning five La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues.
He also won league titles at River Plate and Corinthians and spent time at Hebei Fortune in China before retiring in November 2020 following a short stint at Estudiantes.