Javier Mascherano was a revelation during his time on Merseyside, and became one of the best defensive midfielders in world football in the process, famous for his reading of the game, timing of tackles and all-round influence. He is versatile and tactically intelligent footballer, great at organising his team, good leader and high passing accuracy.
He helped make Liverpool become one of the best and most feared teams in Europe in the late 2000s. His never say die attitude and hard-tackling style of play made him quickly become a crowd favourite at Anfield.
Singing his praises
Liverpool’s application took a month to become official – 4 days later he made his debut against Sheffield United. It only took a few games before Benitez and his new teammates were singing his praises, being called a ‘monster of a player’. Alonso commented “He has a cool mind on the pitch. He is analysing and thinking about the game in each moment.”
He and teammate Alonso developed a good understanding of each other, they were successful in stifling the creative play of opposing teams. Both of them just making it look so simple.
4 year Liverpool deal
Mascherano signed a four-year deal with Liverpool on 29 February 2008 – ending his association with Media Sports Investments. Liverpool paying £18.6m.
Similar to Alonso, he liked to really hit the ball hard from 30 yards. Scoring long-range goals against Reading and Everton. Not only was Alonso a threat from range – so was Mascherano!!
He did have a tenacious streak, constantly harrassing and nipping at players heals. This did mean a fair few cards and in the 2009–10 Premier League season he had the worst disciplinary record with seven yellow cards and two red.
Returning from a break after the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Mascherano informed new Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson that he wanted to leave the club.
Liverpool announced on 27 August that they had agreed a transfer fee £17.25m with Barcelona. The next day he signed for them. Telling Barça TV “The truth is it’s a dream, it’s a great joy”
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