Mascherano for Argies captaincy?

Javier Mascherano is being hotly tipped to replace Javier Zanetti as captain of the Argentina national team after legendary forward Diego Maradona was officially confirmed as the side’s new manager.

Maradona has never made a secret of his desire to see the Liverpool midfielder don the captain’s armband for his country, and although the player himself was shy about the suggestions, Reds boss Rafa Benitez was full of confidence he could do the job.

Benitez says, “Mascherano has the character and mentality to be a captain.

“It is an important situation for anyone – to captain their country. If someone says to you that you can be captain of England or Argentina or Spain, it is a massive honour because they are big, big countries.

“If he has the chance he could do it.”

Meanwhile Mascherano, who has won 44 caps for Argentina, was shy on the matter. He said, “Before Maradona arrived we had a captain, Javier Zanetti, so I don’t want to talk about this.

“He is a legend, so it is good to have him as a manager.”