In 2008, Javier Mascherano made Olympic history. But he had to miss the opening games of Liverpool's 2008-09 season to do so.

Called up to Sergio Batista's Argentina squad for the Beijing Olympics, Mascherano was a rare survivor from the team that had won gold four years earlier in Athens and the combative midfielder was desperate to defend the title.

His inclusion as one of three over-age players in the Albiceleste's 18-man party, which also featured Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero and Juan Roman Riquelme, meant he would miss two Champions League qualifiers and two Premier League matches for the Reds, should Argentina reach the final.

When Mascherano eventually returned to Anfield, he did so as the only Argentine footballer ever to win two Olympic gold medals.

Angel Di Maria's 58th minute strike in front of 90,000 fans at the Bird’s Nest Stadium was enough to secure a 1-0 win over Nigeria in the final - the same scoreline by which Argentina had beaten Paraguay in the final Athens. Mascherano was the only player to feature in both finals.