Mascherano was asked by new Argentina boss Diego Maradona, over the phone.
Mascherano explained: “We had a short chat and he said: ‘I want you to be the captain of my team, so get ready’.
“He didn’t get the answer he was expecting. I am sorry for that but I told him the truth and that is that I don’t feel I can be the captain.
“I don’t have so much personality inside the dressing room.
“I can put all my energy and strength on to the pitch and maybe can show the way to some of my team-mates. But off the pitch I am not the same. A captain has to be born to the role.
“Diego is a very good person and I hope that he doesn’t get offended with my decision.
“I just don’t feel that I’m right for it. A leader is someone that everyone listens to and that doesn’t happen to me because I don’t talk so much in the dressing room. I hope he will understand.”