Mascherano: Fate will take care of us

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Argentina have not reached this stage of a Mundial since losing the final against Germany in 1990, and Mascherano believes that lady luck will guide them as they look to make the most of the position in which they find themselves.

"We have to hold onto the dream because we can take Argentina to a place where we haven’t been before,” said the 30-year-old.

“And these opportunities are very rare and we have to take them.

"This match 24 years ago, which the Argentines played, we were lucky to be part of this milestone - but this increases the expectations of most people.

“Fate will take care of us as we go for the final.”

Yet the Argentines must first get past European heavyweights the Netherlands, and Mascherano is wary of the threat posed by the Dutch, especially in attack.

“We know we're playing a team that is the best in countering with the speed of their forwards,” the Barca man said.

“We face a team that is experienced, that is very hungry after being the losing finalists in the last World Cup.

“We will not expect an easy game and it will be even harder than the Belgium match for the quality of its players and the experience.”

Mascherano hopes his side will be able to reach this year’s final in their native South America, yet believes his side will only get there by out-thinking their opponents on the field.

"We have a unique and wonderful opportunity, and we will live with the dream of being able to reach the final,” he said.

"These instances are played with heart and soul, but you won’t reach [the final] if you're not smart enough on tactical issues.”

Argentina face the Dutch in Sao Paolo on Wednesday at 10pm South African time.

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