|Date of Birth||
8 June 1984
|Place of Birth||
San Lorenzo, Argentina
1.74 m (5'8 1/2")
Javier Alejandro Mascherano (born 8 June 1984) is an Argentine footballer who was a Liverpool player from 2007 until 2010. In the summer of 2010, Mascherano signed for Barcelona.
Javier Mascherano moved to England to play for West Ham United, however the deal was dogged by accusations of illegal third party ownership. Liverpool took Mascherano on loan on 31 January, 2007 and presented him with the number 20 shirt. Mascherano was widely praised by his team mates and manager Rafael Benitez following a series of impressive performances early on in his Liverpool career, as he displayed a good maturity and anchored the midfield effectively, hindering opposition attacks.
Mascherano was included in Liverpool's 2007 Champions League squad, and ultimately started the final against AC Milan. In the final, with Liverpool 1-0 down, Benitez substituted Mascherano for striker Peter Crouch in search of an equalising goal, however with Mascherano keeping playmaker Kaka at bay for much of the match, soon after he was brought off Kaka was afforded the space and time to bear down on the Liverpool goal and assist Milan's second goal, effectively killing off the tie. Liverpool fans on the official Liverpool website declared Mascherano was the Reds' man of the match in the final.
Mascherano signed for Liverpool in a permanent deal on 29 February, 2008- over a year after he was initially taken on loan. Liverpool paid £18,600,000 to Media Sports Investments, covering both the transfer fee and Mascherano's wages for the duration of his four-year contract. This ended Mascherano's association with third party owners. On 15 March, 2008, Mascherano scored his first goal for Liverpool against Reading at Anfield with a 20 yard strike.
On 23 March 2008, in a match away to Man Utd, Mascherano was sent off for two bookable offences. The first booking was for a late tackle on United midfielder Paul Scholes, however his second was for protesting against the referee awarding Fernando Torres a yellow card. Mascherano had to be pushed from the field by Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso, and Rafael Benitez also had to leave the duggout to assist in removing Mascherano. The FA fined Mascherano £15,000 for the incident, which Mascherano paid under the condition that the sum be paid to charity. In the 2009-10 Premier League season, Mascherano had the worst disciplinary record of any player, having collected seven yellow cards and two red cards.
He scored his second Liverpool goal in a Europa League game away against Romanian side, Unirea Urziceni. Like his first Liverpool goal, this too was a powerful long-range effort which helped Liverpool secure their place in the last 16 of the competition. During the summer of 2010, Barcelona had begun to show an interest in signing Mascherano and Mascherano made it clear to the Liverpool management that he wished to leave if the opportunity arose.
A fee of £22,000,000 was agreed between Liverpool and Barcelona on 27 August and Mascherano left to sign a four-year deal with the Catalonians. Mascherano ended his Liverpool career with 2 goals in 139 appearances, however he failed to win a trophy with the club. He had however established himself as a firm fans' favourite, with the Liverpool fans famously chanting his name, Javier Mascherano, to the tune of The White Stripes' Seven Nation Army. Mascherano went on to win the 2011 Champions League with Barcelona, a victory he dedicated to Liverpool supporters.
- No. 48 on 100 Players Who Shook The Kop (2013)
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- Javier Mascherano career stats at Soccerbase