Javier Alejandro Mascherano is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a defensive midfielder or centre-back for FC Barcelona and Argentina national team. FC Barcelona officially announced that they had signed a contract with Javier Mascherano on August 30, 2010, a born leader who is crucial to Barça’s defensive scheme, sweeping up and spotting danger before anyone else.
Full Name: Javier Alejandro Mascherano
Date of birth: June 8, 1984
Place of birth: San Lorenzo, Argentina
Nationality: Argentina, Italy
Play style: A blend of passion and tactical excellence
Influenced by his father, a former professional footballer, Mascherano played football when he was very young. With the help of his father, Mascherano transferred from a forward to a midfielder for a local youth football team in primary school. When he was 14, Mascherano joined the youth team of Club Atlético River Plate. Although Ajax Amsterdam declared an interest in signing Mascherano when he was 16, he didn’t join the club because players under the age of 18 were strictly prohibited from transferring according to FIFA.
Mascherano made his professional debut for River Plate in a match against Nueva Chicago on August 3, 2008. He won his first silverware when the club won the 2003-04 Clausura championship.
After playing for River Plate for two seasons, Mascherano moved to Corinthians in Brazil, winning the league title. He appeared 18 times for Corinthians in 2006.
West Ham United
The club loaned him and his Corinthians team-mate Carlos Tévez for a combined fee of $35 million in August 2006.
In January 2007 he moved again to Liverpool. Mascherano was hungry for trophies, but Liverpool didn’t win any League champions after he joined the club. In consequence, Mascherano sensed it was time to move on.
Mascherano transferred to Barcelona on August 30, 2010. He became a first choice in the middle of the defence due to his tactical discipline, positioning and reading of the game. Mascherano played in 46 games and made it to 150 in the derby with Espanyol at Camp Nou in 2013/14 season.
Mascherano completed his international debut for the national team in 2003 and served as the captain of Argentina national team in 2010 FIFA World Cup. He has appeared in 129 matches which makes him the second man who plays so many games for national team. The first one is Javier Zanetti, a former Argentine professional footballer.
Mascherano is the only Argentinian player to have won two gold medals at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games.
After Lionel Messi, Mascherano will hang up his boots. Mascherano announced that he would retire from the national team after 2018 World Cup. The two excellent footballers’ retirement makes loyal fans upset and heart-broken.
In 2003, Mascherano got Toulon Tournament Best Player award. In addition, Mascherano was selected as one of players of FIFPro World XI 4th team in 2014 and FIFPro World XI 3rd team in 2015.