Javier Mascherano has decided to leave Barcelona for China this month, as he brings the curtain down on what has been a wonderful story at the Catalan club.
Mascherano was a tireless worker and often it was his dirty work which allowed the magicians up front to wreck havoc on opposition defenders. Just like Sergio Busquets, Mascherano has often been overshadowed by his more illustrious team mates, as it was invariably tough to share the spot light with the other demi-gods on the pitch.
But his contribution was never under estimated by his team mates, as the Barcelona squad recently posted an emotional video in which they thanked the Argentine’s contributions over the years.
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Mascherano came to Barcelona from Liverpool in 2010 for 24 million euros. Initially brought in to fill the void left by Yaya Toure, Mascherano formed an unexpectedly fruitful partnership with Gerard Pique at the heart of Barcelona’s defense.
Pique and Masherano were rock solid at the back as Barcelona beat Manchester United at Wembley to lift the 2011 Champions League title. Since then, Mascherano played primarily as a center back at Barcelona and sparingly played as a CDM.
“I thought that I wouldn’t be here for many years,” said Mascherano.
“My features seemed to go against everything that the club wanted, and I knew that it was impossible to take Busquets’ place.
“Think of another player in the world who does what Busquets does for this team; there are none.”
Mashcerano’s biggest contribution was in helping Barcelona move on from the retirement of Carlos Puyol, as the Argentine cushioned the loss of the great Catalan from the Nou Camp.
Mascherano won another Champions League title in 2015, when Barcelona beat a wonderful Juventus side in a closely fought final in Berlin.
Now 33, Mascherano has decided it’s time to leave the Nou Camp, as he looks to quietly play out the rest of his career in China.
For a man than has played over 300 matches for Barcelona and won 17 trophies, including four La Liga titles and two Champions Leagues, Javier Mascherano has more done his bit for the good of this great club.
Thank You Javier!