The familiar look to the Argentina squad for the past few years and the difficulty for new faces to break in has often led to claims that there is a clique of players dictating selection and following fresh accusations directed at Javier Mascherano, the Barcelona defender has taken to Twitter to vehemently deny the claims.
Carlos Dibos, one of Alfio Basile’s coaching staff for Argentina between 2006 and 2008, appeared on TyC sports on Thursday evening and said: “We have to end the friends club.
“There are seven or eight players who have completed their cycle,” suggest Dibos and including Mascherano among them, the former physical coach said, “he [Mascherano] is the one who selects the list of friends.”
— Javier Mascherano (@Mascherano) March 31, 2017
In light of these remarks, Mascherano responded on via his Twitter account: “I can take any criticism, but not so, that I am accused of these accusations. I have a clear conscience that I have never intervened in any decision of the coach.”
Edgardo Bauza’s latest squad perhaps raised the most eyebrows with the likes of Ezequiel Lavezzi still included while Mauro Icardi was left out. It has been suggested that Mascherano has been central to the Inter Milan striker not being called for the Argentina squad due to his friendship with Maxi López.