Argentinian soccer star says he tore his anus making a World Cup tackle

Mascherano taking on Robben during the ill-fated (if successful) challenge.

Mascherano taking on Robben during the ill-fated (if successful) challenge.


This year’s World Cup tournament has seen a bevy of tough and heartbreaking injuries. But the damage done to Argentinian defender Javier Mascherano might be the toughest and heartbreaking-est of all.

Late in extra time during Argentina’s eventual win over the Netherlands, Mascherano came down the flank to confront Dutch striker Arjen Robben, who had a clear shot on goal. Just before Robben could get his shot off, Mascherano slid in with a tackle, knocking the ball out of bounds and keeping the score locked at nil.

He then doubled over in pain, and explained why to journalists after the match:

I tore the anus…. I don’t want to sound crude… Robben game me an opportunity when he took a touch; he lost a second and I won. What I did anyone could have done. To be in the final you need a bit of luck.

Mascherano may be underselling even that point. In addition to his anus tear, he suffered what looked to many like a concussion in the first half of the match, after knocking heads with Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum. Mascherano’s status for Argentina’s showdown with Germany remains uncertain.

The World Cup final airs Sunday at 3 PM EST on ABC.

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