Javier Mascherano and Arjen Robben
Argentina's Javier Mascherano blocks a shot by Arjen Robben of the Netherlands.Reuters

Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano said that he "tore his a***", while making a match-saving tackle on Netherlands' forward Arjen Robben in the World Cup semifinal.

Mascherano made a well-timed challenge on Robben, which helped his team in stopping the Dutch at 0-0 in regulation time. Later, the South Americans went on to win the match in the penalty shootout.

"I thought I had slipped, I thought I wouldn't make it, but I tore my a*** on that move, the pain... it was terrible," Mascherano revealed. "I threw myself into it. I could have been sent off. It could have been a penalty but anyone could have done that, I had the luck to get there."

The Barcelona player had a rough game as he also survived a nasty head injury earlier in the match. However, the 30-year-old, playing in his third World Cup, said he was pleased to be in the final and called it the pinnacle of his international career.

"I cried at the end because I have spent a lot of time waiting for this moment," Mascherano said. "This is my third World Cup and maybe my last one. It's a delight to be in the final, a delight that lifts your soul. It's something you can't explain, it's something I never imagined would happen."

"And I know the people at home will be happy because two generations could not see Argentina in the final of a World Cup, they can see us there now so we are happy for that," he added.

Mascherano admitted that Germany are a formidable unit and they will have to strengthen their defence against three-time champions to avoid the repeat of what happened with hosts Brazil in the semifinal.

"They have technique, potential and style," the former Liverpool player said. "They beat Brazil, but we will have to be concentrated and make sure they have no space. We can't think about being in Brazil or that is means more because we are playing in Brazil. It is a World Cup and this is a chance we have dreamed of."

"We have to avoid thinking about the scale of the situation. If you play against Germany and you leave space for them then it will be very difficult for us. We need to be narrow, we need to be compact. We will see."

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