Barcelona defender Mascherano denies presence of Argentina 'friends club'

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The defender has hit back at claims from an ex-coach that he forms part of a group that hold a strong influence within the national side's set-up

Javier Mascherano has denied claims from former Argentina fitness coach Carlos Dibos that he is among a group of players who influence decisions in the national team.

In an interview on TyC Sports, Dibos alleged that Mascherano is part of a "friends club" that interferes with Argentina protocols, adding that he believes the Barcelona defender has come to the end of his cycle with the national team.

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However, Mascherano has refuted the claims, taking to Twitter to insist the suggestions are false and state he has "a clear conscience" on the matter.

"It is a shame for Argentine football that a professional like Mr Dibos, who worked with us in the Argentina national team, makes me responsible for things as serious as the ones he mentioned," Mascherano wrote.

"I can accept any kind of criticism as to my level of play, but not accusations like this.

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"I have a clear conscience that I have never intervened in a coach's decision. The things that I have shared with him and my opinion about his professionalism I reserve for myself.

"I am very sorry that the Argentine football has people of this level of human quality."

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